I was surprised to see how little press coverage Denzel Washington’s latest film, The Book of Eli, received considering it was the first action flick of the year, but I still made it my business to check out the movie, if for no other reason then to show my support for a wonderful actor. I didn’t even bother to check out what the film was about before I spent my hard earned on it, but with Denzel you usually don’t have to.
Almost 30 minutes into the movie, I still had no idea where the film was going, but it was beginning to feel more and more like a remake of I Am Legend by the minute. A bit after the 30-minute mark it hit me that this film was more of an I Am Legend meets the hidden message of The Matrix, even dodging a few bullets. And by then I figured maybe I should’ve read up on this movie after all.
The movie does a poor job of setting the film up or even properly introducing us to the characters. What we do know is that some 30 years prior there was a war that changed the course of history. Denzel who’s character Eli, is one of the few surviving members of the original society, understands what made the world successful before the war and he’s on a mission with a higher calling to help restore that kind of society. On his path he runs into a town where the man in charge, Carnegie (Gary Oldman), also a surviving member of the original society also knows the how the world maintained control before the war, so he’s searching for the book that will give him that type of power.
So many things aren’t explained and even as I write this review I am puzzled by more and more parts of the plot. The movie does a good job of making its message clear, just not sure it accomplished much else. Save for a few elaborate fighting scenes don’t expect much action, the movie is actually a lot calmer than previews and its R rating may suggest.
Should you go see it? Sure…as soon as it comes on television. But if you’re looking for a reminder in faith, this may be just the flick for you.
The Book of Eli receives a PA