Spoiler Alert: It’s the Bible!

If you didn’t guess that from the previews already, it’s not much of a spoiler.   Denzel Washington is Eli, a traveler in post-apocalyptic North America.  From the first scene the spectacular action shots are reminiscent of some Zack Snyder directed graphic novel come to film.  But instead of this film doesn’t over dramatize every shot.   Everything is shot in a muted sepia-tone format, that seems to gradually gain contrast throughout the two hours. This adds to the drama of life after the fall of society.

That lack of structured civility is a huge point of the film highlighted by the stark contrast of modern western civilization to the abject poverty, and desperate situations in which these characters find themselves.   The economics of the setting is also a factor. There is no money, so the most insignificant of items are exchanged in the practice of bartering.

Depressed yet?

For some reason, Eli carries a book,  that Carnegie (Gary Oldman) wants very badly.  Carnegie claims that it has power… the words have power.  He tries various tactics to get it, including sending a prostitute named Solara (Mila Kunis) as a bribe.

The movie moves along with a mix of suspense action and intrigue.  Vague explanations are given for the event that caused the devastation of the world.

Still this movie holds a deep, if not inconsistent religious message. I will not attempt explain that here as that is up to the individual viewer for interpretation.

Direction was provided by the Hughes Brothers last noted for directing “From Hell”. As mentioned above the action sequences seem somewhat inspired by the recent flurry of graphic novel inspired films, but the overall pacing is slower and more cerebral.

Washington and Oldman make a great pair of adversaries.   Washington’s Eli is devout and steadfast, while Oldman’s Carnegie appears to be of similar motive to Eli, but is much more selfish in his motives.

Of course with any mainstream release of anything dealing with religious content you get plenty of reference to God, if not by name.  Secondly there is no mention of the name Jesus.  This is about par for the course from the Hollywood establishment.  Still the fact that as much Christianity this made it into a mainstream film is a feet unto itself.   Church groups are sure to visit theatres for this one.

Overall “The Book Of Eli” will make you look at modern society and ask, “What if it all went away?”   Next it will spark debate around the nature of the religion in the film.

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