Sunday, April 18, 2010

Review - The Book Of Eli (2010)

“People had more than they needed. We had no idea what was precious and what wasn't. We threw away things people kill each other now.”

Director: The Hughes Brothers
Starring: Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis
Screenplay: Gary Whitta

Plot: The world is torn apart, the sun has turned nearly everything to a wasteland, and water is a precious resource. In a post apocalyptic world Eli is travelling ever west, guided by a quest that revolves around a book he is carrying. Along the way he meets Carnegie, a man who is after Eli’s particular book as he see’s the potential in turning it into a weapon. Eli must now decide how far he is willing to go in order to protect the book.

As soon as the picturesque first shot flicked up on the screen and the atmospheric music of Atticus Rose kicked in I was hooked. I know that this movie has gotten some flack from critics, but to put it simply I loved this movie. I’m a fan of science fiction and just the atmosphere and the main idea in the movie fascinated me more than some of the recent sci-fi movies.

Acting wise we have Denzil (Eli) giving a really subtle and focused display. The man is a great actor and really creates a character that is flawed and yet a good man. Through a simple look Denzel can show the weight of the characters decisions. Gary Oldman (Carnegie) on the other hand is anything but subtle but that’s why we love him. As Carnegie we have a smart villain that is just as focused as Eli but has a lot more anger. They both play off each other well and it is very interesting to see how the two individuals influence the people around them.

The movie was very beautiful with The Hughes Brothers taking the time to allow the audience to bask in the world of the movie. While it’s weird to think of an apocalyptic movie having a beautiful look; it’s the truth, the way the cool colours are applied to a world that has this horrible heat was something I found unique. Just unlike some genre pictures there is a care to the detail that was refreshing. Also the fighting scenes were top notch with The Hughes Brothers showing us the action and not overly editing it.

If I had to red flag one flaw of the movie, it was that it did downplay the central message. Sure not every movie needs a message but Book Of Eli does actually play around with a notion, it does get a few scenes to be developed yet I feel that it doesn’t really get anywhere near it’s potential. The movie dabbles with the ideas of religion and how powerful faith can be which is something that interests me is. But to see it not delved into deeper made me one sad panda.

This movie deserves a viewing and I think it will be a science fiction movie that holds up over time. Personally this might even be in my top ten at the end of the year. There was something about it that really got to me. Sure it’s not a classic movie in the realm of Blade Runner but it’s still worthy. Go ahead and see this movie.

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