The Book of Eli

26 Mar

Title: The Book of Eli
Year: 2010
Director: Albert Hughes & Allen Hughes
Writer: Gary Whitta
Starring: Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis, Ray Stevenson, Jennifer Beals, Michael Gambon, Tom Waits
MPAA Rating: R, brutal violence and language
Runtime: 118 min
Major Awards:
IMDb Rating: 7.1
Rotten Tomatoes: 45%

This is the first film the Hughes brothers have released since From Hell, which was released nine years ago, and even though The Book of Eli is far from perfect, and bites more than it can chew, it is still a really fun movie directed by brothers who know how to inject a shitload of energy into anything they do, and for that reason alone it is worth the price of admission, it is fun, it presents completely ridiculous and impossible moments throughout, one after the other, but many movies do that nowadays, and at least this one makes it fun.

Denzel Washington is Eli, who has been walking the post-apocalyptic Earth for three decades, on his way to the sea. Eli is a lone wanderer in world that, being now left in destruction and ruins, is commanded by different gangs who roam on motorcycles. But alone or not, Eli can kick some serious ass, and the fight scenes are actually pretty awesome, especially when you find out that Mr. Washington actually performed all his hand-to-hand stunts, skills he learned from Dan Inosanto, Bruce Lee’s protegé.

The film looks really great, something we already knew the Hughes brothers could achieve, it was filmed in deserted wastelands, and it looks dry from all the sun that shines upon Eli, and the absent water he seeks throughout the film. Then we meet Carnegie, the villain, the Gary Oldman character, and Gary Oldman can really play the guy. Carnegie is a true sonuvvabitch, he abuses his wife, played by Jennifer Beals, and has his daughter, played by the lovely Mila Kunis, work as a whore in his bar.

The film, especially the final part of it (though not the ending), acts a really cool modern-take on a western, and there’s even a character which continually whistles the Once Upon a Time in America theme, and the film turns out to be a refreshing affair, a film that I don’t think could have been done any better than it was, maybe the only chance of it being better would have been if my future wife Kristen Stewart had landed the Mila Kunis role like she was once rumored to, but still, Kunis does a real fine job and the Hughes brothers create a really good-looking film, sure, the ending sucks big-time, but the ride there is pretty fuckin’ neat.

Grade: B-

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