Movie Review: Book of Eli

Published by Clay Cane on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 12:00 am.

bookofeli_posterSummary: A post-apocalyptic action-drama about a man who walks a destroyed America. He owns a  special book for which others are hunting.

Review: I personally like post-apocalyptic flicks, no matter how many versions of it hits theaters and bomb. I enjoy seeing what people’s visions are of a future where there are no cell phones, internet, or television (although in this movie you can still charge an iPod!). Therefore, I truly wanted to like Book of Eli, but as hard as I tried – and Lord knows I did – I just couldn’t muster up the enjoyment for the sketchy plot, poor cinematography and an inconceivable twist ending.

Even Denzel Washington, whose acting is stellar even with the problematic script, looks bored as he mopes through the flick. The two-time Oscar winner seems uninterested and it’s no surprise since he recently said he wanted to get back to stage: “I find a lot of the movies are formulaic. I know a lot of people love them — and believe me, I’m glad they do — but I just think they’ve become formulaic.” Washington is a stone-cold actor and placing him in a movie like Book of Eli downplays his gifts.

Book of Eli is the Hughes Brothers’ first film since 2001’s From Hell. In case you didn’t catch From Hell, which was critically bashed, the Hughes Brothers are also known for unforgettable films like Menace II Society and Dead Presidents. In this movie, the Hugheses seem as lost as Eli. The movie madly bounces around the screen with a warrior who can do damage with a sword coupled with a young girl who happens to always look like a supermodel even though she rarely has soap and water – yeah, it’s one of those. Then, there is the “twist ending” (usually if it’s stressed there is a twist ending, it’s more like a knotty ending), which was eye-rolling and stuffed with religious and political agendas.

After Book of Eli, I hope the Hughes Brothers abandon these wannabe Hollywood glamor flicks and go back to gritty, raw dramas — like Dead Presidents and Menace II Society — that made their work so fresh, original and groundbreaking.

Book of Eli is in theaters now.

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