The Hughes Brothers' THE BOOK OF ELI
Review by Dennis D. McDonald
This film breathes life (of sorts) into the post-apocalyptic-road-warrior genre. Denzel Washington is one seriously cool dude as he slashes his way West on foot through a blasted landscape with his secret personal cargo.
The religious elements didn’t bother me. What the heck, I thought, that’s as good a theme as you can find: the preservation of the printed Word in a Godless world.
In this case, preservation occurs at the hand of samurai whose skills at lopping off heads when the going gets tough is the stuff of legend. Plus, it’s a beautiful film to look at. I didn’t think I’d ever say that about a film that adopts the washed-out gray-and-umber-tones of so many other contemporary films, but in the hands of cinematographer Don Burgess and what must have been an exhausting post-production digital color correction process, the world that emerges is one of stark beauty. (I say that just having seen Walkabout which generates a similar visceral visual impression but in a completely different full-color way.)
It’s a great cast all around. I even enjoyed watching Mila Kunis fade into the sunset at the end as she goes forth channeling Denzel Washington’s peculiar balletic high-center-of-gravity walk. Plus, the reference to Johnny Cash is really funny. All around, this is a fun film.
Review copyright (c) 2010 by Dennis D. McDonald