So i finally got around to watching the Book of Eli, which friends and coworkers have been telling me I should see for something like two years.
Short Review: Definitely worth a viewing, although problematic
Longer Review: There is a lot to like about this film. Denzel Washington is fantastically cast as the title character, and manages to carry off a fairly challenging job of being both badass and gentle-soul, without heavy-handedness or too much awkward hand ringing. Mila Kunis manages to not get in the way, which is actually saying a lot, given that her character, as written, is one dimensional and uninteresting. Gary Oldman is bizarre in this film, although I cannot really blame him, as it is pretty probable that he was working with what he was given. (Side note: f you disliked Rango’s evilguy, you will probably find some resonance with Oldman’s character).
The post-apocalyptic world is breathtaking. Let me repeat that: the post-apocalyptic world is breathtaking. I cannot say enough how much I enjoyed this world. Although there are no shortage of films, spanning several genres–horror, sci-fi, drama– that tackle the world after a calamity, few have made me more curious as to what happened, and how on earth people eek a living out of the rubble. The authors/directors give us little in the way of back story, in fact, just enough to put your mind on the right rails. Outside of that, you are allowed to construct your own histories and explanations. Some people might dislike this…I found it refreshing. Does it really matter *who* Eli is? No. No it doesn’t. What matters is what he’s doing and why. I give a lot of credit to the directors for having the chutzpah to not explain things.
anyways, the story is unwieldy at times, and several developments don’t seem to make logical sense, but generally things move along at a good pace and resolutions come about where you feel they ought to.
In terms of technique, the films looks great. The washed out colors and general shabbiness of everything really helps the piece feel like a period piece. Fights are well-choreographed and stark, almost like the Bourne Series fights. Well done.
Um. I could say more but it’s late. I heartily recommend the film to anyone with 2 hours to kill and a yen for some unique storytelling.