The Book of Eli Not Worth a Theater Read

The Book of EliThere’s a good movie in there somewhere.  It just never surfaced.  Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman and Mila Kunis are all impressive in front of the camera, but even their acting abilities could not save The Book of Eli.  The film played out in such a lethargic fashion that part of me would rather be a human piñata at a party full of people with violent Tourettes than suffer through this film a second time. 

Washington plays Eli, a loner of a man headed west to an unknown location…unknown to even him.  Oldman is kind of like the Vito Corleone of a Mad Max-style town in this sepia-laden, post-apocolyptic world where food is more precious than gold and its value is only second to that of water.  Eli’s duty is to protect his priceless book and retain  possession while he makes his way across the flash-burned landscape.  Looters and thieves dot the trail making the path treacherous for any passerby.  Luckily for Eli, he is armed to the teeth and has the fighting skills of a samurai and the aim of a sniper.  His run-in with Carnegie (Oldman), a seeker of books, is inevitable and at times entertaining. 

The Book of Eli 

There are some good moments and yes, Denzel Washington is great in his role and Gary Oldman is really good at being really ruthless.  Even HBO Rome’s Ray Stevenson made an appearance in this film.  Maybe it was just me and the fact that I’ve only slept 12 hours in the last three days, or maybe I really was coherent and Stevenson’s accent kept going in and out.  At one point, I thought I heard a Brit accent, then another moment I could have sworn I came across a bit of Dixie, then Yank.  It’s like multiple personalities residing in his mouth muscles. 

The fight scenes were not believable and felt overly rehearsed.  I didn’t know if I was watching The Book of Eli or if I was back in the dance studio.  The scuffles were just too choreographed for me to jump on board.  Near the latter portion of the film, you’ll find Washington and Kunis in a rowboat making their way towards a two-dimensional wall with an image of an island on it.  The pair had just left another two-dimensional wall that projected a picture of a certain ravaged city.  In other words, the green screen effects were less than spectacular…okay, they were garbage.  As my friend Ricki would say, “That’s fake!” 

The Book of Eli

The film does contain an awesome plot twist though it just isn’t enough to save this title.  There is some great potential in this story, but its sloth-like progression deflated my hope for The Book of Eli.


The Book of Eli




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