Sunday, August 18, 2013
Movie Review: The Book of Eli
The film makes little sense, is poorly filmed, and is poorly acted. The Hughes Brothers directed this sham and continue to find work as some sort of Hollywood affirmative action program. They were blessed with some fine actors for the film--Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman and Mila Kunis are A list actor but are completely wasted--Kunis in particular.
In a post-apocalyptic world where women serve only as chattel and playthings, Kunis (as Solara--in a world somehow burned to a near crisp) appears as a walkoff from your local Prada shoot whining her way through the film as a dumb, powerless, waif. Denzel plays a blind man (your welcome for revealing this spoiler so you don't have to watch the film) who is walking across North America in order to deliver the last remaining copy of the Bible to a place where it will be cared for. Oldman (as Carengie--notice the juvenile naming conventions?) is a small town master controlling the local biker gang thugs.
The film plays out in a straight line--Denzel (as Eli) enters the town, has to kill some bikers, Carnegie wants the book Eli carries and Solara tags along with Eli...blah, blah, blah. With the first half of the movie being filmed about 50% in sloooooow-motion (we get it, Eli is supposed to be a badass---oooooooo) the film seems interminable. Then when Carnegie realizes Eli isn't going to hand over the Bible (really?? Every single one has been burned?? The bikers find copies of Oprah's magazine but can't find a Bible???) and the "chase" begins we get into a bad rendition of The Road Warrior. The washed out look of the film and crispness of the shots just brings attention to the ridiculousness of the characters. Even the big "twists" to the film feel forced and contrived---Really?? Eli is blind and able to walk around slicing and dicing bad guys, yeah, that's believable. And Solara taking on Eli's role as a road walking tough out to find her mom and clear the world of evil scourges?? She gonna do that in her high heels, 110 pounds and manicure??
As bad as the movie is, I'd recommend watching it just to remind yourself that yes, bad movies are out there and sometimes they're even populated with good/great actors. Bad direction and bad writing cannot be overcome, not by anyone.