This year in cinema really started off with a bang! The Rock is a Tooth Fairy, Jackie Chan is a super-spy who can’t make fucking breakfast for a child, and Denzel Washington is bringing the pain!
Without giving too much of the film away, let’s dive in to a synopsis, shall we? In the Hughes Brothers’ first film since 2001′s From Hell, Denzel Washington plays Eli (it’s true), a lone wanderer in post-apocalyptic America (or AmeriKKKa, as it has become–since everybody but Eli seems to be white). He is a take-no-bullshit traveler with a clear destination and mission that he believes was given to him by God. His mission: to transport what is possibly the last remaining Bible to a safe haven out West.
Gary Oldman’s character, the leader of a small post-apocalyptic town full of Raiders, drunks, and whores (obviously), is eager to get his hands on a copy of the Bible because, historically, whomever is in control of religion has unlimited power over the weak, poor, and desperate.
Mila Kunis plays a frumpy young waitress (who later turns out to be sexy…surprise!) in the town who every male but Eli seems to want to rape…and while I was apprehensive about her acting (in anything), she carried her role pretty well…and didn’t get raped.
Eli’s spiritual quest brings a lot of religious talk into the film, but it is never overwhelming. The religious overtones are well divided into different characters, leading to some mixed reviews.
Some viewed this movie as a spiritual journey of a kick-ass machete-wielding Denzel Washington, while others found that the film was decidedly anti-Christian. Interesting, right?
Washington’s character is on a mission from God, but he’s not supernatural, he is a man of conviction. Nearly every single person in this dystopia is uneducated, illiterate, and naïve–hence Gary Oldman’s wish to use religion to take advantage of them all.
It is briefly explained that a great war was fought–and that many blamed religion for it–go figure. After the war, holy books were burned and faith was abandoned and thought to be damaging to society–go figure.
30 years later, there are few left who have any knowledge of all that “god bullshit.”
There have been a dickload of apocalypse movies, but–despite its mediocre reviews–I would contend that The Book of Eli is among the best I’ve seen–I was pleasantly surprised. There is plenty of bloody violence to keep the idiots amused, but there is a lot more going on here. Many argue that the film’s execution lacked the substance of its message–but fuck those people.
This movie has all of the staples of the genre: raiders, cannibals, bartering, bad-asses, pimped-out car-tanks, survival, and then it peppers in some Denzel.
However, if you like your apocalyptic fiction like you enjoy playing Fallout 3 for hours and hours, you’ll have a great time with this film. It’s not for everyone, and some of the action is a little cliché, but it’s better than seeing fucking Avatar for the 10th fucking time.
Oh, and a word of warning: This movie stars Denzel motherfucking Washington. Get to the theater fashionably late and don’t sit in front of the row of middle-aged black women…
You can cry “racism” all you want…but you’ll thank me some day.
(return to MAIN PAGE)