Book of Eli (2009) – 7

Set somewhere in the U.S. but not the U.S. we know, Book of Eli lays out a dark and dismal harshland of desolate and destructed nothingness. The fight for survival is on because the world as we know it has ended. The most sought after possession is a book and the rulers of the world are not the good guys, but the bad and Denzel Washington is out to restore the peace playing the part of Eli, even if a little ass kicking is necessary. IMDb summed it up by saying “Some will kill to have it. He will kill to protect it.” This piece written by Gary Whitta and directed by Albert and Alan Hughes was unique and well done.

What you are introduced to in this movie is a new world. In this new world, one must be ruthless and strong to survive. It is a lawless piece of earth where survival requires you kill or be killed. America as we see it is ruled by one more so than any other and it just so happens to be Gary Oldman who plays the role Carnegie. Carnegie has several “freelance” style gangs of thugs, robbers, and rapists who take what they want from who they want. Items of treasure have now become anything from shoes to lighters to books and always treasured is water.

Eli stops in a town bar and requests his canteen be filled with “the good stuff”, drinking water. The film introduces Mila Kunis, a bartender named Solara. She works for Carnegie doing anything he demands but is in desperate desire for a better life. When approached by some of Carnegie’s thugs in the bar who demand unjust payment, Eli fights his way out with ease which catches the eye of Carnegie himself. Eli is offered a high position as one of Carnegie’s men but as respectfully as possible, he declines as he is already on a mission. He is carrying a book of such rarity, he must do anything to protect it. This book just so happens to be the one and only copy in the world and it has been entrusted to him with instructions to travel with it Westward. The movie is a relentless dog fight for Eli’s possession and he as well as Solara find themselves in the fight of their lives and as the movie unfolds, you gain and see full understanding as to what they are protecting and how great the efforts in doing so.

The cast was disgustingly well costumed and the set was great. The directing and acting were spot on. You see Gary play a role he is very comfortable with and well known for, you see Denzel play a role which demands a little more than just his hard to the core ability to fight and win and you see Mila play a role which shows some of her talents as they unfold in her career. The storyline is one of such uniqueness it warranted an extra star with most critics. This movie was very well done and was a real surprise and treat for a January release.


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