Last year, I had the privilege of watching this absolutely amazing Denzel Washington film. Alas, there was one incredibly huge problem at stake. 1. It was bright outside, with the windows open, and the sun was shining in, creating an annoying glare on the TV 2. The TV was full screen. 3. The TV was small. 4. There were kids running around, screaming, telling me to play with them, and proceeding to argue with each other, and then ask me to play with them again. Okay, more than one problem. Despite all of that, I found myself loving the movie, so as I understand it, there had to be something about it to push past all of the annoyances. This review of “The Book of Eli” is long overdue.
It’s a post-apocalyptic world, Charlie Brown, and the world has gone down the toilet. Denzel Washington stars as our hero of the film, Eli. As the film begins, the first thing that might come to mind is a situation similar to Will Smith’s “I am Legend“. Eli seems to be going around, day by day, on a search to find supplies, food, and water, while no one else seems to be around. However, it isn’t zombies that pop up out of the shadows, it is hijackers fixing to obtain his supplies. This is when we learn that Mr. Washington has some impressive fighting skills.
After we are given a good introduction to who Eli is, we are then given the start of an explanation into what Eli is planning to do. You see, he has in his possession the very last Bible. He is on a path to turn the book into a publisher of sorts to have copied and distributed. The main problem is that Carnegie (Gary Oldman) is on a quest of his own to find that bible. For the word of God holds power, and he sure is power hungry. So Eli and Solara (Mila Kunis) must escape Carnegie’s clutches, and make sure the good book isn’t given to the wrong hands.
There is one thing you can bet on with this film, and that is originality. There aren’t a whole lot of films based around a Christian concept while still being a secular movie. There are even less that have a high production value with a number of highly recognizable faces. It’s new. There really should be more of these movies, as they are more realistic and entertaining than every other Christian films that are limited in what they can do or show. All in all, there is a lot of new material that they have worked with that remains fresh to this day.
The acting was in fact great, but it is really the writing that was brilliant. This couldn’t be thought up without some serious creative willpower. There are so many post-apocalyptic films out there, that it is becoming ridiculous. So what they always have to do is try to make it their own. You have to understand that making something unique takes a lot of work nowadays, but they did it magnificently. The visuals are also very stunning, and they do justice to a post-apocalyptic film. Sometimes, I don’t know how they do it. How they turn modern day San Francisco into a ghost town, more or less. That usually puts me in awe.
What is something that is honestly annoying in films nowadays? Twist endings. It would seem that every film has to have one. In reality they don’t have to have any twist, and sometimes those twists ruin the entire film. However, only a few good twist endings have given me the urge to re-watch the film to search for clues thrown in throughout. “The Book of Eli” is one of those films with a genuine twist ending.
Amazingly, without all the distractions I initially had, and in pristine viewing conditions, the movie remained intact, and managed to enjoy it just as much. It had an ending that might suggest a continuation to the story, but at the same time had that feeling of coming full circle, as the world was far from being fully reconstructed. No, the movie won’t be having a sequel, and they probably were never planning to, it’s just nice that they both gave it a complete ending as well as answering the question of “If it were to get a second film, would it make sense?”.
Now ratings are unkind it would seem on Rotten Tomatoes. I’m not sure why, nor do I want to investigate what they said, as there is a possibility of them dissuading me in my decision. I enjoyed it. I think you will too. That’s all that matters.