The Book of Eli is the story of a lone man’s journey across a post-apocalyptic America in order to protect a sacred book which holds the secrets to save mankind. It’s made pretty clear very quickly that the book in question is the Bible, but it is pretty simple minded to say that this is just a simple movie about religion. Far from it, The Book of Eli focuses more on the manner in which the book can be used. In the hands of Eli it will be used to help people regain the civilization lost after nuclear war. In contrast if Carnegie, the villain, would gain control of the last Bible he would use it to control others through fear.
The film stars Denzel Washington as Eli and Gary Oldman as the villain, Carnegie. Due to the casting of these two very talented actors, the film gains legs. In the hands of lesser actors, The Book of Eli would be mediocre at best. The only casting that seemed out of place to me was Carnegie's step daughter, Solara, played by Mila Kunis. I am still not sold on her as a dramatic actress and her performance is easily overshadowed by either one of the more seasoned actors.
The Book of Eli is well shot with some very good and interesting action sequences. As long as you understand the underlying message, which is that faith can be used many ways, then it is a quality film and worth a viewing. I do have one gripe, though. I understand how product placement can provide extra financing for a film, but the first 15 minutes are ridiculous. This is 30 years after a nuclear war and in one scene you get plugs for Ipods, KFC, and Beats headphones. Product placement is fine, but do a better job at being a little more nonchalant with it, please.
My Rating: 3 out of 5 (would have been a 3.5, but i docked a half point for the in movie commercials)