“The Book of Eli” Have a Little Faith

Genres: Action/Adventure, Science Fiction/Fantasy and Western
Running Time: 1 hr. 58 min.
Release Date: January 15th, 2010 (wide)
MPAA Rating: R for some brutal violence and language.
Distributors: Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution

Directors: Albert Hughes & Allen Hughes

JJ Rating: A

Eli (Denzel Washington) is transporting a book westbound. It’s an important book to him. He transport via faith. Carnegie (Gary Oldman) loves to read. He is in search of the book. He wants it to instill fear and gain control. When he hears that Eli has the book he decides that he’ll have that book by any means necessary. Eli won’t give him the book no matter what. Carnegie doesn’t take no very well. The Book of Eli.

I never knew that a desolate place could look so rich with visual perception. The desert landscape can be kind of bland in general, unless you flip it and find the angles that’ll make the landscape rich with wonder and pop out at the audience in subtle beautiful ways. That is how the Hughes Brothers did it. An almost 2 hour movie mainly based in a desert like arena was visually astounding. I enjoyed it as well as the fights. Instead of showing Eli slicing and dicing people with blood going every which a way like Quentin Taratino would do with satire as a reason, there was a sort of grace to it all. At the beginning he shows what he can do with a sharp weapon. As he’s moving, dodging and chopping, he and his attackers go into a tunnel and with a shadow over them all it is a different look at what would have been a blood mess.

Praise the Hughes Brothers for having the black man save the white man. That is if I were to speak about this in an Avatar kind of way. This was the kind of story I was talking about when criticizing those who were all over Avatar. They created a movie that showcased characters that had nothing to do with race necessity at all. The characters all wanted something but what they wanted was not hinged on who was what color. It hinged on a single book. One could look at it as if Eli was chosen and in that case he was chosen to deliver humanity a gift that he was called to find in the first place. So it’s a positive aspect for (if one is to take race score) the black man that’s much better than any hardcore rap could ever muster.

I really like the story which was written by Gary Whitta. He has nothing else under his belt other than being an editor for some magazine. A 2 hour movie can’t be fantastic without having a balance in place. The writing was well done and it balanced out with the action which was well done. The pace of The Book of Eli was fast through the action and slow through the talking, but because the talking was well acted and thrilling in what each conversation meant made The Book of Eli is well balanced. I would watch it again. I especially love the ending because then all the clues that I had thought meant something came back fitting together so well and I went, “Oooh.”

Everyone knows what the book is. The title gives it away. But what I really liked is that the book was never, ever named thought it was apparent what book it was. The characters never said its name until the end. But up until then it was just the book. I liked that for some reason.

Denzel Washington was very calm and well put together. He wasn’t very excitable even after he fought. He seemed even in his tone. It was showing a sense of control for Eli but a great job for Washington. There is a turning point when he is pushed out of his clam and that is when I felt pain for him. Washington did a very good job. Gary Oldman is the villain that wants the book. His venomous spite is evident in every single line that drops out of his mouth. He was a great villain. The moment he is face to face with Washington was a moment where both of them changed, but before they separated Oldman’s line to Washington was a good one. It was a mocking, goading comment. Mila Kunis is Solara who wants to travel with Eli after meeting him one time. She had to act like she did not know a lot of things an average person of today would know. She held equal ground with Washington and was not overpowered by his presence no matter what scene it was. Well done Kunis.

I heard (or read) that someone was wondering where a Kindle was and it answers that with his slightly working Ipod that isn’t a fancy one. It looked like there was no electricity and that they had batteries that they can charge, but I’m not sure. No matter if there is electricity there isn’t a lot of it. That is part of why they wouldn’t have a Kindle. The other part is that nothing computer wise even exists not even in the vehicles. It looked like all the vehicles were pre-computer. That reminded me of Mad Max.

The Book of Eli was different in that it showcased faith in a unique way that I had not really seen in many films that are not saturated with religious overtones or, for that matter, mocking it. It was unique story told in an interesting manner with a good ending. It actually brought back some faith in Hollywood that I tend to lose after seeing a bunch of meh kind of films. It had me believe that great films may come few and far between, but they do come every once in a while. And though I may have lost faith in that occurring the last few weeks, The Book of Eli made me believe again.

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