MOVIE REVIEW: “The Book of Eli” stars Denzel Washington (Flight, Man on Fire), Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), Mila Kunis (That ’70s Show [TV series], Jupiter Ascending), Ray Stevenson (Thor, Divergent), Michael Gambon (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Sleepy Hollow ), and Jennifer Beals (The L Word [TV series], Flashdance). It is directed by Albert and Allen Hughes (From Hell, Dead Presidents) and is written by Gary Whitta (After Earth, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story). In a post-apocalyptic world, one man is on a journey west to deliver the last Bible in existence to whomever he is called on to do so. Trouble is laid out on this road we walks on, however, for there will be men out to get the Book he holds close.
Finally, a film that displays the importance of the Bible as well as God. Just as you read that sentence, some of you may quit reading and others may continue on, depending on several factors (the main one being if you give a crap about who created you). I myself believe that there is a Heavenly Father who has both blessed me with many fruitful things in my life and sacrificed Himself for me on the cross over two-thousand years ago. Those of you who deny this statement can stop reading, but I encourage you to push forward. This isn’t an almost two-hour sermon that’s only purpose is to preach how God is righteous and spreads love all around. It’s rather an experience that displays what a society devoid of God and his teachings looks like. It is a bloody, intense, and brutal world, but it makes the journey all the more surreal and gripping. Think of “Mad Max,” but on a deeper level. I’ve heard good things about this film prior to seeing it. Such good things that I had to pick it up on a spontaneous notion while walking around a Target. Although it’s different from what I expected, the message couldn’t have been clearer: the world can’t live without God. It simply can’t. I’m not taking this movie as an excuse to preach to you guys, as I am merely explaining the theme of this entire release. You have a man named Eli (Washington), whose sole purpose is to deliver the last Bible to wherever he needs to go, and how conflict is soon to arise in the shattered world he lives in. This apocalyptic future may as well resemble the brink of what we were told in Revelations, but this time there is a chance to rebuild the earth by a mortal’s hands instead of God creating a new one Himself. Seeing this adventure unfold was thrilling. Not in a sweating-bullets sense, but more so a captivating one. The cinematography and color tones of this film were brilliant. The overall grit and texture to it really gave an apocalyptic feel as you could sense the planet slowly crumbling to bits. It’s weathered, just as its inhabitants, which are all the more crude. People wear tattered clothing and have the most gnarled-looking teeth. It sets the tone and creeps me out beyond belief. The acting that gave way to these characters was often great. Denzel Washington did a fantastic job playing Eli and Gary Oldman played an awesome bad guy seeking power through the Bible. As for Mila Kunis, she did pretty good. I don’t think that she performed on the same caliber as Washington or Oldman, but she did a good job nonetheless. The visual effects and action sequences that our characters pushed through were some of the best that I have seen. The directors did a terrific job in displaying their gun and close-hand battles, using shadows and, at times, no cuts. It was truly spectacular just looking at this release. Delving back into the theme of this, the plot feels like a far cry from what Hollywood puts out now. There is a very little amount of films released every year that touch on religious tones, and usually they all follow along the same line. Sugary, calendar-quote ideas are what hit small theaters in talking about God, which is fine, but I’d rather have an adventure that scares people of God’s wrath than one about how He loves us. It’s all true, and people need to know that God loves them, but I feel like it’s movies like “The Book of Eli” that really shake up the generation in detailing what God can do and what people can’t do without Him. Eli’s journey in this was a sight to see, but the story did have some issues. My first would be that it can be slow. The first thirty minutes set up the futuristic world in its full, decayed glory, but there are scenes that did seem to drag, and it wasn’t until Eli started meeting people that the plot began to pick up pace. A second, and final con I found is in the ending. It’s finale was great and shocking, but I felt like it carried on for a bit too long. There was a scene where Eli starts quoting Genesis, and once he stated “And God said, ‘let there be light,'” I thought that the screen was going to cut to black. It looked like it was meant to. But, we were shown more scenes, which I admit that some of them felt needed. It gave closure to a few things and even provided a twist, but other moments, mainly including Kunis’ character, didn’t do much for me. Overall, this was a really good movie. I found its message to be gripping and the production of the story to be rich and gritty. It’s definitely a different take on the apocalyptic world, and I recommend anyone who is religious and old enough to see it. FINAL SCORE: 87%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: