The Book of Eli (2010)
Reviewed on 2010 February 20
Very grim post-apocolyptic movie from the Hughes Brothers, about a determined man’s trek across a nuke-blasted America.
The films starts with ash falling on a gray, blighted world, as our guy (Denzel Washington) shows us how motivated he is to survive. He is on a journey to the west, he has a purpose in mind, and as tough as life is, it looks like he may get the job done based on willpower. He stops in a vile encampment, an apres-nuke version of a wild west saloon town, with an equally determined boss: Carnegie (Gary Oldman). Carnegie welcomes the traveller to stay, not divulging his ulterior motive. Carnegie senses this stranger has a book he’s been coveting for a long time, something that will give him the power he craves, and he won’t stop until he gets it.
This doesn’t sound like much on paper, does it? When you mix the Hughes Brothers with actors like Washington and Oldman, it is. There is a strong Judeo-Christian undercurrent throughout the movie and I know some viewers expecting a straight Road Warrior type of flick felt like this was bait and switch. I loved it myself and it moved me to tears, but I can understand being disconcerted if it’s not what you were expecting. The movie took its time to get rolling and thus relied on heavy-duty acting, and everyone delivered the goods. While it may not be for everyone, it’s powerful.
Three chocolate morsels and a glass of clean water.