Some will kill to have it. He will kill to protect it.
Running Time: 118 minutes
US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15
Country: United States
Hot on the tails of bleak but beautifully-made The Road, is The Book of Eli – a post-Apocolypic adventure for those without the required attention span.
The Book of Eli is a futuristic Western tale of a lone drifter named Eli (Washington) who has been tramping across a desolate landscape ravaged by war and hyper Global Warming for thirty years. More importantly than being a killing machine and dressing like he’s just been to the January Sales at Gap, Eli possesses the last ever bible, which he sure loves killing to protect. After happening upon loony, town bossman Carnegie (Oldman) – a man with a disturbing bible obsession – Eli finds himself running from from his dangerous gang with young used-and-abused Solara (Kunis) in tow.
As far as post-Apocolyptic storylines go, The Book of Eli has the amongst one of the most preposterous and least engrossing. In a world where water, food and oil are vital commodities, the half-baked reasoning for the importance for the bloodsoaked hunt for the Bible just doesn’t stack up. The preachy and often non-sensical religious storyline does test the patience as it painfully drags the film out, and once the vaguely important twist arrives towards the end, I couldn’t have cared less. I surely won’t be watching the film back in a Sixth Sense style voyage of rediscovery.
All this being said, it’s not a truly awful film. At least the Hughes brothers have tried to do something a little different and there are enough orginal touches and interesting scenes to hold the viewer’s attention. Surprisingly, one of The Book of Eli’s prize assets is it’s sporadic humour, especially when the unlikeliest of objects become gold dust and Gambon and de la Tour put in star turns as lovable cannibals George and Martha. The comic book action is servicable if you suspend disbelief (at one point, after being shot in the belly, Eli gaffer tapes himself up and starts rowing a boat) but probably not comprehensive enough for those seeing the trailers and hoping for a bloodfest.
It's Got: Ludicrously over the top action, some decent humour, too much competition.
It Needs: A better story.
A post-Apocalytpic Western that’s just not as good as many others out there.