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Review: The Book of Eli

March 7, 2010

So this is one of the new movies aired this week over here. I’ve seen the trailer a lot times when going to other movies and it looked pretty good. But does the movie itself live up to the hype? I for one didn’t have a lot of expectations for the movie because I knew which book Eli was carrying.

So what’s the movie about? Basically there’s this guy called Eli who carries a book and a knife. Apart from that he also kicks major ass.

So that’s Eli. And what does he do? Apparently he has to carry the book to the west and he’s been trying to do that for the past 30 years already. 30 Years ago, the war (probably the third world war) tore a hole in the sky. What they are trying to say is that, that same hole wiped out a large part of the human race because the sun burned everyone that wasn’t in their shelter. Nowadays people have to carry sunglasses outside constantly (otherwise they’d go blind) and things we consider basic necessities are more than luxury in that world. Take for example body water, soap, shampoo and even wet wipes from the KFC (I’m serious dude…), they are all considered worth a lot in the future. Quite a cool setting if you like post-apocaliptic settings and the overall movie sceneries look good. the desaturated and cool colors fit the setting very well. The fight scenes are also very nicely shot. The camera rotates around and Eli fights of a lot of bad guys and the whole looks very dynamic.

So what about the story? Well…I’m not a religious person but the whole concept is kinda cool. If you don’t want to get spoiled, skip this paragraph right here. Right…so Eli is carrying the bible and some other guy wants the bible so he can control the dumb and poor, because apparently, that’s how you get control over the mass (look at how much power the church has these days). And Eli will not let go of the book because a voice in his head told him to carry it east. So the story is actually pretty simple, but I think it nicely reflects on society now. Seeing how stupid the ‘normal’ people are and how the elite (Gary Oldman) wants the bible so he can gain control of the people again, because religion is a very powerful weapon.

So the acting…Basically I don’t think Denzel was a very good person to portray Eli, but that’s because I expected Eli to be a bit more hardcore and thought Wesley Snipes sure would make a better action hero. But since the movie didn’t focus on action, Denzel was OK I guess. Gary Oldman did a pretty good job and looked very convincing in the movie. The only real misstep was Mila Kunis. She’s not a bad actress, but she reminds me too much of ‘That 70’s Show‘ and she’s not fit for serious roles. Also the fact that she was actually not necessary for the whole movie, but I think Hollywood just likes some random sidekick in the movie.

But is there anything special about the movie? If I have to be honest…No. It’s not a movie you have to see, but if you have time and money spare, why not? It is not the best movie of the year, but absolutely not the worst. I never had any big expectations of the movie and I was basically left with the same feeling before walking in the cinema as I had before. Don’t expect anything mindblowing, but just some good entertainment. One thing I do want to mention is that  I actually expected a few more a fight sequences. The ones in the movie were OK, but not that spectacular and way too short. The trailer made it look a lot cooler that it was in the actual movie.


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