Reviews & Previews - Book of Eli

Posted on Tuesday, September 14, 2010 at 06:00 PM

Book of Eli

By: S. Tran

Starring: Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis
Directed by: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes
Running Time: 118
Rated: R

Don't mess with Eli

I'm not exactly sure what is going to happen if the world does suddenly come to an end one day in a giant fireball. But what I am certain of is that if you meet some guy with a big machete, steer clear of him. Washington would be that guy in this film by the Hughes brothers that offers some mildly interesting entertainment. Unfortunately much of the entertainment comes from laughing at the plot holes offered up in the movie.

The story opens with Eli wandering down the road minding his own business when some rejects from The Road Warrior set out to rob him. His bad-assery is soon displayed as his kills the entire gang without breaking a sweat, despite wearing about 10 layers of clothes in what looks like a desert.

As it turns out the desert is simply what remains of the United States after some kind of cataclysm. I think it was a war but as in a lot of these kinds of films the end of the world as we know it is not a big topic of conversation. Personally, if it actually happened that is all I would be talking about. But I guess when you have to keep scrounging for water and food you might not really care as much about rehashing the past.

Eli finally wanders into a town that has sprung up from the devastation and encounters Oldman as the leader, Carnegie, who rules the town because he controls the water supply. It is a law in movies that if you rule a town after the end of the world, you must be evil and Carnegie is no exception. It turns out he wants to expand his empire but needs a certain book to help him do so. It won't take you long to figure out which book he wants. I am also not giving away anything by letting you know that Eli just happens to be carrying the only copy of the only book in the entire world that Carnegie just happens to want. Myself, I would want a book on how to survive without food or water, but each to his own. Actually, I would probably forget about the book and just be looking for lots of guns and ammo.

While in the town, Eli meets Solara (Kunis) who has apparently used up all the water to take a shower making her the only reasonably clean person in the entire movie apart from Eli who takes baths with KFC wetnaps. Predictably, Carnegie chases after Eli to get the book and then the movie sputters to an absurd ending which makes you laugh at the fact that 1000 people can be involved in making a movie and not one of them stops and says "Hey, this makes no darn sense at all."

On thing this movie does have going for it that The Road did not is that it does offer some kind of hope. Both films are set in a post apocalyptic future but at least in this one there is at least one hot girl left and some semblance of a possible future.

Washington and Oldman are fine in the limited space they are given. Kunis is also good until the end when her character takes an embarrassing turn. This isn't the kind of movie where the acting is going to carry the day but at least here it is good enough to make the scenes easy to watch.

The film also looks great. A shame the story could not live up to the artsy, washed out template of colors. It kind of reminded me of those truck commercials you see where there is dust and dirt being kicked up in slow motion. Except here people are being killed too.

In the end I was mildly amused, but mostly because of the stupidity I was witnessing on screen.


2 out of 5 stars.

S. Tran also writes at, and


NOTE: The showtimes listed on come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to