Friday, January 15, 2010

"The Book of Eli" movie review

In "The Book of Eli," Denzel Washington walks the post-apocalyptic Earth as a man with a mission: he has the last copy of the Holy Bible, and a voice in his head has told him to "go West." Sounds fairly straightforward, but "Eli" actually has many more layers that eventually unfold. It had been thirty years since "the War" and a meteorite ravaged the Earth, and Eli has been walking ever since. He has his backpack, a machete-like sword, and his iPod—the battery has miraculously lasted thirty years—and that's basically all he needs. Water and food are scarce, so Eli tries to find it wherever he can; he runs into trouble, however, when he enters the makeshift town made by Carnegie (Gary Oldman). Carnegie sends his henchmen to find books for him, which have become so rare that only the "elders" remember how to read. He's looking for one specific book—Eli's Bible—because Carnegie believes that he can "control" people even more if he is in possession of this book (a not-so-subtle dig at religion). When Eli and Carnegie meet, Carnegie realizes he has the book he's looking for, and when Eli leaves town the next day, the hunt is on.

Denzel has a great role in this movie and does an excellent job. Gary Oldman ("The Dark Knight," and Sirius Black from the "Harry Potter" series) is malevolent as the evil Carnegie. Mila Kunis ("Extract," voice of Meg on "Family Guy") has a nice supporting role as Solara, who is under the control of Carnegie—Solara's mother is Eli's "girlfriend," so to speak—but she eventually escapes to join Eli on his quest.

I would say Yes, see this movie. I wasn't too excited to see it at first, based on the trailer ("Great, another apocalyptic movie"), but I took a chance because Denzel was headlining, and was pleasantly surprised. There is a big plot twist at the end that I never saw coming, and when Denzel slices up the "bad guys" he meets along his journey, it is, for the most part, tastefully done (ie. there isn't blood spurting everywhere like in the movie "Ninja Assassin" that I saw recently). The movie is rated "R" so it might not be a good choice for kids, but I would say that it's a movie that older teens (16+) and adults can enjoy. Reviewed by Liz.

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