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Monday, February 28, 2011

Review of film: “THE BOOK OF ELI”

2009, 01-14:

Review of film:  THE BOOK OF ELI


Albert Hughes
Allen Hughes


Gary Whitta


Denzel Washington
Gary Oldman
Mila Kunis
Ray Stevenson
Jennifer Beals
Evan Jones
Joe Pingue
Frances de la Tour
Michael Gambon
Tom Waits
Chris Browning
Richard Cetrone
Lateef Crowder
Keith Davis
Don Tai

MPAA Rating: 

Rated R for some brutal violence and language.


“Leave room for breakfast.”
“What does that say about our hygiene?”
“Stay on the path.  It’s not your concern.”
“It might’ve been the last shampoo.”
“You’re going to held to account—.”
“We belong to him just the same.”
“We had no idea what was precious.”
“They burned them all after the Fire.”
“A weapon aimed right at the heart of the weak and desperate.”
“…  This was the reason for the War.”
“Please watch over her as you watched over me.”
“… I kept the faith.”

MY rating:

8 of 10 stars (based on an advance screening of the 118-minute film).

Will this “Book” be a BEST-SELLER?!…

America’s a wasteland  Yep, it got involved in still another war  Even tho it’s been 30 years since that conflict ended, chaos and lawlessness still reigns… 

  Eli (DENZEL WASHINGTON) is a peace-loving warrior still filIed with hope for the future, partly because of his belief in a “greater power”.  As he travels the countryside, he finds it’s a very DANGEROUS place, with highwaymen and others out to rob anyone in sight… 

  But, Eli is realistic enough to know that most others around him can’t be trusted, &, if feeling provoked, he’ll attack first and move on to follow what he believes is his destiny…

  Eli seems to have a special power, which is coveted by a rogue guy named Carnegie (GARY OLDMAN) who ruthlessly runs a town filled with the scum of society… 

… His adopted daughter Solara (MILA KUNIS) is intrigued by Eli, and of no particular interest to Carnegie except for things he can get from her (as is true re Gary’s treatment of her blind mother Claudia, played by JENNIFER BEALS)…

  Carnegie tries to force Eli to join his group and to turn over a special book he thinks he has, and uses his right-hand henchman Redridge (RAY STEVENSON) to try to intimidate him.  But Eli is an unusually effective fighter, and escapes from the town…

  Will Eli be able to avoid those who are out to do him harm?…  Will he continue holding on to his special book?…  Will Solara prove to be sincere in her attempts to join him on his journey?…  What’s the story behind George (MICHAEL GAMBON) & Martha (FRANCES DE LA TOUR), and whose side are they really on?…

  Besides a number of “ACTION” scenes, the film has some general “religious” overtones--  but they’re understated, & the movie seems more intent on telling of a REBUILDING of a gentler society and culture… 

  The flick builds an exceptionally effective “ATMOSPHERE” of devastation in a collapsed society.  There are memorable performances by Denzel & Gary, altho the former really doesn’t talk all that much;  his “force” mainly comes thru his “attitude” overall…

[ A side note:  at the end of the movie, there was a clever promotional tie-in wherein reps of Eli’s CHEESECAKE presented the audience with delicious pieces of toffee-infused chocolate-covered cheesecake on a stick.  Please understand that the product is NOT involved in the film itself, and you should not expect to be “rewarded” with similar sumptuous samples for attending any screening of it!… ]

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