Book of Eli Review

This movie is strange in a lot of ways.

The violence is well-choreographed and fun to watch, it’s vicious and bloody and often quite brief.

Now trying to work in tandem with that violence is a strong message for religion, specifically for the value of the Bible (the titular book).

That’s a weird combination, especially since the violence is shot and edited to give the viewer pleasure.

Gary Oldman is here, playing a villain for the 183243th time. As far as Gary Oldman villains go, this is near the bottom of his villain-roles in terms of originality and menace. As has been mentioned in many reviews he reads, and his intelligence in this post-apocalyptic world (where most are illiterate) is a nice touch. But past that he’s basically just a “bad guy” and not deep enough as a character.

Denzel is, as always, awesome. The man can hold up just about any movie. He’s got Presence with a capital P. Denzel’s got to be getting up there in years by now, but I believed he was dangerous. He made me forget the stunt double.

I think the bottom line with this movie though is it’s a strange juxtaposition of stylish violence and heavy-handed messages about faith.

Add in a third act which largely feels predictable and a big twist that isn’t really that big or important to the story, and I was pretty disappointed.

The film is opening strong, which I think is more a testament to Denzel and the marketing than the merits of the movie itself. It will be interesting to see if it holds up long term with more than just Christian audiences.