Reviewed by Alicia Glass
In a future post-apocalyptic hell, the prophet Eli is on a walking mission to the far West, armed with a very special book.
It’s…hmm. It’s not bad. You have to be a big fan of the desert post apocalyptic look, all sepia tones and washed-out everything, in order to appreciate the movie, I think. It certainly fits with the story, and I would guess makes for cheap shooting grounds, but it’s very…bleak.
The plot basically goes something like this: some thirty (or more) years ago, a hole opened in the sky and the sun got way too close to the earth, baked and boiled most everything and killed a whole bunch of people. Most people born after that live a very harsh existence, with little water and food, and don’t know how to read. So of course knowledge is power and books are considered, by some, to be worth more than all the water you can carry. There are several instances in history of a single book being the match that starts the conflagration, and the book Eli has is exactly that. And much as I’d like to tell you why the book is so special, that is only revealed at the very end of the movie, and would give the entire plot away – let’s just say it does actually come as a surprise, in a very unassuming package.
Denzel Washington does a perfectly fine job as prophet Eli, all strength and awkwardness, conviction and desperation rolled into one ass-kicking Man On Fire –like performance. Of course, no prophet I know of slices and dices like he does, but hey, they were trying to take his book. Gary Oldman lends star power as Carnegie, the lead bad guy of the town Eli makes his last stand at, sporting a very odd accent and plotting anything and everything to get that book from Eli, for books are power. Mila Kunis stars in as Solara, the daughter of Carnegie’s blind concubine, Claudia (Jennifer Beals). And Kunis does a pretty good job as Eli’s eventual protégé, although a dark haired hottie doesn’t usually make for a prophet.
For fans who enjoy a sort of Postman feel to a movie, this could be for you. And Denzel is always intense to watch.