Rarely do post-apocalyptic films break the mold for the end of times the way The Book of Eli does. Eli, played by Denzel Washington, has traveled 30 years across a vast wasteland of empty cities, scorched earth and decimated infrastructure to deliver a promise of hope and faith — a book — to the keepers of history somewhere out West. It is the only book of its kind left on the charred Earth.
Along his journey, he is forced to become a warrior in a so-called civilization where there is no civility. The world, as he knows it, is devoid of law. It is a land where gangs own the roads and would kill a man for his shoes or a canteen full of water.
But, the gangs and other would-be assailants find out they are no match for Eli. Eli has learned many combative skills along the way, but he doesn’t fight to save his own life, he fights for the survival of “the book.”
Although all Eli knows is he is going west and will know when he arrives at his destination, he is driven by faith and belief in a higher calling. He does what he must to survive and continue his journey. But, there is another man, Carnegie (Gary Oldman), who is also looking for a book — the book Eli carries. Carnegie is the only other man old enough to know the power of the book Eli carries, and he wants it all to himself. Eli is determined not to let Carnegie have it, and will sacrifice anything, even himself, to keep it from him.
Meanwhile, Carnegie forces his stepdaughter Solara (Mila Kunis) to help him get the book from Eli, but she is so enamored by Eli, she joins him in his quest — even if it is only to get away from Carnegie and the wretched town he rules.
Although The Book of Eli is based on a post-apocalyptic world, this movie is more about faith than all the fighting and slashing that occurs. It is a movie about determination and believing in something bigger than just one man.
Do Eli and Solara finish the quest? Pick up the DVD and find out.
I give this DVD a solid thumbs up. In the end, it is an uplifting movie about what one man can accomplish with determination and spiritual faith.
Next week’s review: Grown Ups starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider.
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Directors: Albert and Allen Hughes
Box office release: Jan. 15
DVD release: June 15
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Thriller
starring: Gary Oldman, Denzel Washington, Mila Kunis