Thoughts on the Book of Eli

So… Book of Eli (link auto-plays a clip) finally. I enjoyed the film. All I knew about it at first was it had Denzel Washington being totally bad ass, it had Gary Oldman too and it was set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Sounded good to me!

Further film chatter under the cut so I don’t get zinged for spoilers

I found out a bit more about the plot and still wanted to see it. Eli is just called the Walker until later in the film, because he’s been walking for 30 years since the Flash as its called. Most people (myself included) would assume the Flash alludes to Nuclear war, but apparently the Sun reaches down and scorches the Earth in a huge Flash and its been at least 30 years (or winters/cycles as Eli reckoned). He holds the last known Bible on Earth. Gary Oldman’s character Carnegie wants it so he can rule more than the little shanty town he’s got a grip on.

Parts of the film are quiet, especially the beginning where he’s meandering towards the West. There’s some atypical, almost inhuman ass kicking by Eli and then he’s on his way. If you’ve seen the trailers then you know he’s carrying a bible, even an old fashioned one that needs a key to be opened. He’s obviously a devout man, and spends time before crashing out reading the bible every night. While he’s on his way West, he witnesses a murder and rape by a gang of fools (that we later find out work for Carnegie and they are seeking the BOOK); he doesn’t do anything but it seems as if he’s torn about the decision to not interfere. After finding new boots on a corpse in the house he crashes in for the night and running the battery down on his really, really old iPod, he wanders into Carnegie’s town in search of water and a recharge on his battery.

Of course he runs into the gang again, because they are reaping their reward from Oldman for finding some books on the folks they killed earlier. There’s a cat in the bar, and for whatever reason the gang leader is attached to it, and tries to start a fight with Eli for just shooing the cat away from him. Commence inhuman ass kicking/slaughter sequence #2. This impresses Carnegie. disturbs Solara and he’s given an offer he can’t refuse…literally as he’s holed up in the hotel Carnegie calls home and offered Solara (Mila Kunis), water and food if he’d just find the BOOK Oldman wants.

As expected he won’t do it, and from there we have the chase, escape, recapture of Solara, but during the course of Eli and Solara’s impromptu time on the road, we find that Eli is following the words of God and he was directed to do so by a voice in his head after the Flash, even to the point of being told where to find the last known bible after they’d been destroyed in a fit of pique by those that blamed religion for the Flash. After Eli is shot, left for dead and Carnegie gets his damned BOOK we are treated to the fact that Eli seems to really have Divine protection cause a direct gut shot didn’t kill him, and he is determined to get the knowledge that was in the bible to the West. They finally make it to Alcatraz where he recites the entire bible from memory to Malcolm McDowell’s character… and now the world has a bible again; and once more Denzel plays a character that dies for the greater good.

As for Carnegie, he got what he deserved twice over, because he’s suffering from Gangrene courtesy of shrapnel caught in the gunfight with Eli over the BOOK and the kicker? The damned Bible is in BRAILLE. Jennifer Beales character is his wife, who has always been blind but conveniently forgot all the braille she knew when Carnegie asks for her to translate, mostly because he won’t tell her what became of her daughter Solara. Carnegie gets to see his wee kingdom crumble, and all he worked for destroyed before the gangrene gets him.

I’m leaving a lot of detail out and skipping about plot wise but I liked the film. I’m unsure where the ire I’ve seen about Eli is coming from, because its not Oscar calibre but I don’t think its such an utter piece of trash either.

I guess in the end everyone will have their opinion on the film but I liked it quite a bit.