The Book of Eli is a 2010 American post-apocalyptic action film directed by the Hughes brothers, written by Gary Whitta, and starring Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Jennifer Beals and Mila Kunis. Filming began in February 2009 and took place in New Mexico. Alcon Entertainment financed and co-produced the film with Silver Pictures, while it was distributed by Warner Bros. in the US, and Columbia Pictures in some international territories. It was released on January 15, 2010
So Thirty years after a Massive Apocalypse style event, ELI (Denzel) is traveling the world on foot toward an unknown destination. He is heading West. In the first few minutes of the film he is established as someone who knows how to survive. He hunts small game and defends himself, really well, against some highway men who try to get the best of him.
Eli is carrying with him on his wanderings, a Book. It turns out, he thinks this book will save the world and when he enters a town out in the middle of no where, the deranged self-proclaimed mayor named Carnegie (Gary Oldman) figures out that Eli is carrying the very book he himself has been searching for. Although Eli carries the book because he believes it will save man kind, Carnegie wants it because with its secrets, he believes he can control the masses.
Violence quickly ensues and Eli goes about kicking all sorts of asses. Allegedly Denzel trained with the legendary Dan Inosanto, Bruce Lees protegé and close friend in preparation for the film and the required action scenes.
Reviews of the film have been mixed and I can see why. With two talents like Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman on the screen together, one goes into it expecting a bit more in terms of sheer acting performance. Both of them play such washed out, generic characters though, it seems like there was little left to really work with.
Other films in the genre such as Children of Men and The Road bring much more depth to the characters, where as “The book of Eli” seems to be satisfying on a fun sort of commercial level. It’s worth seeing. 1-10 I give it a low 7.
FYI- Japanese movie poster.