HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
1917
Tree House, The
Sputnik
Seducao da Carne
Yes, God, Yes
Five Graves to Cairo
You've Been Trumped Too
Woman in Black, The
Elvis: That's the Way It Is
Man Who Laughs, The
Watch List
Giraffe
Kat and the Band
Echo
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
   
 
Newest Articles
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
   
 
  Book of Eli, The Bible Bashing
Year: 2010
Director: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes
Stars: Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis, Ray Stevenson, Jennifer Beals, Evan Jones, Joe Pingue, Frances de la Tour, Michael Gambon, Tom Waits, Chris Browning, Richard Cetrone, Lateef Crowder, Keith Davis, Don Tai, Thom Williams, Malcolm McDowell
Genre: Action, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: After the war there were a few survivors who populated the blasted Earth, and one of those was Eli (Denzel Washington), who was obsessed with travelling into the West because he had a special mission to carry out. But every day was pretty much the same, walking the deserted landscape until he arrived at some kind of shelter for the night, as today when he stumbled upon an abandoned house, which turned out to still have its owner inside - having hanged himself in a closet. His death was an opportunity for Eli to appropriate his boots, but the living people he met along the way were not usually so accommodating...

Moviemaking twins The Hughes Brothers had not directed a film since From Hell in 2001 when The Book of Eli was released, which for one thing made fans wonder where they had been all this time, and for another, although this was a fair success, they wondered if they had really chosen the right material for their comeback. This was religious science fiction, a style of moviemaking that often veered towards the apocalyptic, and often in sub par writing that put getting across the word of God above telling a convincing story. So while this was not as bad as some of the movies put out in His name, it was by no means one of the best.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with mixing religion with your speculative fiction, plenty had artistic success with it before and plenty would afterwards, it was just that The Book of Eli led up to such a groaner of a twist, or a revelation if you like, that it put the rest of the film into a decidedly corny light. Early on it seems as if the main influence here was not the Mad Max movies but the Spaghetti Westerns of the sixties and seventies, with Washington doing his best Man with No Name (er, apart from Eli) as he strode across the desert landscapes and dispatched the bad guys foolish enough to tangle with him as easily as if he were swatting flies, though he preferred to use a sword rather than a six shooter.

Mind you, he has a gun or two as well, which comes in handy for the occasions when he is shot at, especially as his pistol carries about twenty-five bullets. Anyway, our big villain here is not Satan, but a tinpot dictator called Carnegie (Gary Oldman in yet another sci-fi bad guy role) who runs the town Eli wanders through looking for water and someone to recharge his mp3 player. Tom Waits is the man who obliges, but word gets around that there's a stranger there and that he has a skill with self-defence as well as a backpack full of intriguing items. One of those objects is a Bible, and this alerts the interest of Carnegie, who has been seeking one of those since they were all apparently burned for causing the global war in the first place.

Without irony, the film depicts its holy book as still causing violence, though on a smaller scale than before, so that nobody thinks, well, maybe we were better off without it and it becomes the sacred object that the characters covet. It would be a MacGuffin, except that the script by Gary Whitta is patently very serious about how this text should be preserved at all costs, and those costs would appear to be incredibly high on the evidence with which we are presented. On the plus side the damned landscape is strikingly shot, and the world the characters inhabit is believably grimy, only when the carefully choreographed action gets going it looks too contrived and Hollywood glossy for its own good. The cast is worth a look, though, with Mila Kunis plucky as the sidekick Eli gets whether he wants one or not, Jennifer Beals as her blind mother, and Ray Stevenson doing his best with a stock right hand man role. Yet when the incidentals are more compelling than the plot, The Book of Eli doesn't really grab you.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3891 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Albert Hughes  (1972 - )

American director of socially conscious thrillers, usually with his twin brother Allen. Menace II Society and Dead Presidents were violent urban crime stories, but with From Hell they transported their style to Victorian England for a Jack the Ripper tale. They both returned after too long away in 2010 with religious sci-fi The Book of Eli and Albert set out on his own in 2018 with prehistoric doggy story Alpha.

Allen Hughes  (1972 - )

American director of socially conscious thrillers, usually with his twin brother Albert. Menace II Society and Dead Presidents were violent urban crime stories, but with From Hell they transported their style to Victorian England for a Jack the Ripper tale. They both returned after too long away in 2010 with religious sci-fi The Book of Eli.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: