There are some movie trailers that really make you want to see a movie. You see those spliced together movie moments, make a good assumption of the story or angle and say to yourself, yes I want to see that. Some movie trailers make you definitely not want to see a movie. It appears to violent, or too much of a romantic comedy, or whatever. If someone else is paying you might go see it, but from what you can gather, you won’t go spending your hard earned money on it.
Book of Eli is not a movie you should see or avoid from the trailer. The trailer, in fact, is very misleading. While I don’t think this is done intentionally, it is done purposefully. There aren’t a whole lot of other things you can show without giving the movie away. Therefore, a lot of people who went based on the trailer have been disappointed. So what is the movie really about? Can I tell you without telling the whole darn movie? I will endeavor to.
The Book of Eli is set after an E.L.E. (Extinction Level Event). From what the people in the movie look like, the brightness, and some references to light, I would assume that event was a nuclear holocaust, or something else you’ll just have to see to assume. Anyway, there are two kinds of people left (can’t say which), and unless you came before whatever happened, you cannot read and have no exposure to culture. Life is stripped pretty much of everything except survival. Women, we are there too, but we are reduced (again?) to commodities, something else to be bartered or traded.
In the midst of this is a man (Denzel Washington) who is walking somewhere. He has a purpose, somewhere to be. All he has in his possession is an iPod and a book, along with a water canteen and some weapons. The book is important, as you may have gathered from the commercial spots and the title. The mayor of a “town” Washington is passing through (Gary Oldman) wants the book as well. (Why is Gary Oldman always that guy in the movie–always bad/sinister/dark/scary? Is he a nice guy in real life? But I digress) As the movie poster says, Washington will do anything to protect said book, hence the violent scenes in the trailer (which may quite well be the ONLY violent scenes in the movie). No, I’m not telling you what the book is, but it is evident what it is very early on in the movie and why it’s important.
That’s about all I can say without giving away major plot points or minor delights of the movie. There’s a message to it all about us as human beings, the things that we need, the things that we would fight for, our motivations to acquire things, and whether or not in the protection of what we have we lose the sense of why we have it in the first place. I figured I’d tell you that in case you didn’t get it in your shock to find out…all the things you find out during the course of the movie.
Book of Eli is a movie you have to see for yourself to really appreciate it. The best that I can offer you is my humble opinion that it is worth the viewing, if not for the message, then at least for the philosophical benefits of pondering the questions it raises. And for Denzel Washington, and because there’s nothing else out that is comparable for entertainment and content value (and you’ve seen Avatar eighteen times already)–says Mr. Perfect.
Book of Eli ****/**** A+ for story, plot, content, and originality, and most of the casting. C- for casting future Mrs. Derek Jeter–was Angelina unavailable? Seriously, with the shades, Mila looks like a knockoff of Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider. F for Product placement overload in first 20 minutes–Busch, GMC, ipod, Motorola, KFC, chapstick (although it was very needed!), Davinci Code, O magazine, random books.
Mr. Perfect commentary section: Good to see Jennifer Beals, for those of you alive in the ’80s. P.S. Flashdance was a long time ago, but she still looks good!–2blu2btru agrees.