Movie Reviews

Film Review: “The Book of Eli”

(Warner Brothers. 1 hour, 58 minutes. Rated R for some brutal violence and language. Directed by Albert and Allen Hughes.) Denzel Washington (Eli), Gary Oldman (Carnegie), Mila Kunis (Solara), Ray Stevenson (Redridge), Jennifer Beals (Claudia). Music by Atticus Ross.

Eli (Washington) is a lone traveler in a nuclear wasteland, charged with transporting a very powerful book to someplace in the west. Carnegie (Oldman), the ruthless ruler of a small town, has been searching for the book Eli carries, and will do anything to possess it. An intense and atmospheric voyage through a post-war dystopia.

One thing the Hughes Brothers nail in this film is the mood and atmosphere of the world that Eli traverses. From the beautifully creepy snowfall (ashfall?) in the opening sequence to the charred and dessicated remains of the landscape, the setting feels both familiar and incredibly foreign at the same time. Much is left to the imagination, which I think works in the film’s favor. Washington is great as a lone wanderer in a world where water (and trust) are in dangerously short supply, Oldman is slimy and effective and Kunis is charming. The action sequences are tight and deftly presented, showcasing a surprisingly spry Washington. The early battle in the underpass between Eli and the marauders is very cool. I felt a tinge of disappointment when the book’s identity is revealed, but the implications of its existence, especially when measured against the motivations of Eli and Carnegie, leads to some very intriguing ends. The twist at the end (by the way, there’s a twist at the end) seems almost impossible, but also makes Eli that much more awesome. Well worth the time.

Share

Jared Counts

Digital Technology Manager

Jared Counts moved to Houston in 1995, survived high school and college, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Houston with a degree in Communications (Media Production) and a minor in Film Studies. After being hired part-time at KUHF Radio in early 2003, he proceeded to bounce between...

More Information