The Book Of Eli Movie Review

January 24, 2023 7:02 pm17 commentsViews: 296

The Book Of Eli, directed by the Hughes brothers, stars Denzel Washington as a man (Eli) who owns the last Bible in the world. Unfortunately, for reasons that are vague at best, Gary Oldman wants the last Bible in the world. So, across an apocalyptic wasteland, a battle begins…

The Book Of Eli Movie Review

No original ideas

The film is nice to look at (the apocalypse always is) but that’s about it. The plot makes no sense, the script is dull, the actors are phoning it in. And the film doesn’t have a single original idea…everything has been done before, and done better. Nuclear bombs destroying the world, cannibals, eating disgusting things, it’s all been done. Most recently in The Road, in fact.

It’s not that it doesn’t have some cool moments, such as Eli’s incredibly fast fighting style being demonstrated, but on the whole it’s just…boring, which is really the last thing you want an apocalypse film to be. The fighting scenes are well directed, but the rest is dull.

Christian Myth

Eli is a Christian, and indeed Christianity is at the very heart of the film. Which is fine, but it means the film is constantly veering between a thriller and a ‘message’ movie. Is Eli getting his near-superhuman skills from his faith alone? Is that why the bad guys are so keen to take the Bible from him? The film doesn’t answer these questions, or indeed many others. Faith sometimes makes sense only to the faithful, but it would have been nice to have more explanations.

Eli doesn’t seem to follow the Bible’s teachings much. At one point he sees a woman being attacked, and continues on his way, even though he could have easily saved her, probably without even breaking a sweat. Maybe he didn’t read the story of the Good Samaritan…

Eli does save Solana (Mila Kunis) the stepdaughter of Gary Oldman’s Carnegie, when she tries to follow him. He starts teaching her about faith and the Bible and she too determines to follow what Eli describes as the voices in his head. She is probably the most interesting character in the film, although that isn’t saying much, and thankfully not there to only be the love interest.

There’s a twist at the end which makes little sense, and on the whole after the credits start rolling a sense of disappointment dawns. There’s a really good film to be made from Christian myths in a post-nuclear world, but this isn’t it.

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