So, yes, I know the movies isn’t exactly this summer’s blockbuster, but when I read back over some of my old posts from a different site, I noticed a glaringly obvious snafu. I promised a review of The Book of Eli when it came out, but I never delivered.
Well, ‘never’ is such an absolute term. And I am here to rectify my error and nullify that ‘never’.
The Book of Eli stars Denzel Washington as Eli, most often referred to as ‘The Walker’ for the duration of the movie (in fact, his name is said only once, and is written once on a tag and carved into stone). Mila Kunis plays Solara, the girl who becomes his sidekick by circumstances addressed in the film.
Post-Apoc, this baby takes the cake, eats it and bakes us another one. The visuals in this movie capture all of the bleak and decaying landscape fans of PA and games like Fallout and Wasteland could ever desire. One particular scene of Eli peering up at the broken, curving highway directly recalls similar images from Fallout 3’s Capital Wasteland.
The music was very hit or miss for me. If anyone’s read my review of The Road, they would know that I favor a ‘less is more’ soundtrack for films like this. Part of the scoring with the languid, melancholy cello seemed perfect, like endless drifting. Too much of the heavier ‘rock-like’ music felt invasive. The insertions of other music via the iPod or the radio felt right, and also seemed like something pulled from Fallout (I especially loved the ‘soothing’ song, ‘Ring My Bell’. Proved this film had a sense of humor, too.) Fans of Fallout 3 will also find a familiar face (voice) but I won’t spoil that.
I generally love anything Denzel involves himself in, and this film is not an exception to that. Not a huge fan of Mila Kunis, but she didn’t grate on me in this film, although her character didn’t develop as much as I’d like.
The ending image bothered me in that it seemed too amorphous. I would have liked to see a complete circle happen in this story. Having her take some of the Bibles with her would have given the sense of completion. Eli brought the Bible to the place he intended, and now she is taking it (them) away, on another trip, to distribute.
END SPOILER ALERT:
In all, the only gripe I had with The Book of Eli was a very personal one: some of the images I found in the movie were ones I had already written into a very early draft of Umbra: A Post-Apocalyptic Mystery. Some things that I conjured up seemed too familiar, too similar and so I felt forced to abandon those particular scenes and characters I had grown to love for fear of being labeled a plagarist. Someone may still point out that a few of the ones I left in were still enough to evoke those similarities between the two, but for some reason or another, I couldn’t give them up, and they stay, albeit as modified as I could bear to change them. In a very odd way, I suppose it’s flattering. After all, the movie proved that some of the ideas I came up with would work, and work well. (This happened to me quite a few times, sadly enough, while writing other stories during my childhood and early teenage years, when I began to think that someone was copying ideas from my brain. At least that’s the only logical explanation. I will just say that one of the Predator stories, as told by Dark Horse comics, is frighteningly close to ideas I developed in unpublished fan fiction. Cree~py.)
Overall, I liked the movie. 4/5 Mushroom Clouds.