Another Apocalyptic Disappointment

An apocalyptic future has become a
popular theme in movies released in
the past couple of months, but most
have failed to live up to their expectations.

Along with Hollywood blockbusters
about robots threatening to end humanity in
Transformers 2 and Terminator Salvation, and cataclysmic events devastating the world in 2012, TheBook of Eli also paints a grim future for moviegoers but leaves little to remember in the end. The fi lm takes place in a post-apocalyptic setting 30 years after a war that causes worldwide devastation.

A wanderer named Eli (played by Denzel
Washington) spends his days traversing across what is left of America, and becomes a warrior out of necessity.

With the last remaining copy of the Bible in
his hands, Eli remains hopeful that his vision of a better future will eventually come true. Eli uses ninja-like fi ghting abilities to protect the book from getting into the wrong hands, especially those of Carnegie (played by Gary Oldman), the leader of a small town of thieves and gunmen.

He yearns for the book and the power that Eli possesses, which his stepdaughter, Solara (played by Mila Kunis) recognizes as far beyond her father’s level of control.

The actors do a decent job at bringing their
characters to life, but Washington’s portrayal of Eli as a mysterious and tough, yet kind, vagabond is underdeveloped. The audience only learns the reasons of Eli’s travels and his protection of the Bible, but little is revealed about his background.

Oldman plays the chaotic and selfi sh villain well by showing his evil determination to do what it takes to get what he wants, even if it includes abusing his blind wife. Kunis’ character seems to have no reason for being in the movie other than to serve as Eli’s companion and eye candy for the audience.

The directors of the fi lm, Albert and Allen
Hughes (who also directed From Hell and Dead
Presidents), create a beautiful post-apocalyptic
world with desert landscapes and ominous skies
that depict the appropriate tone of gloominess
and despair. However, The Book of Eli is nothing
more than impressive visuals and great action
sequences. Although the signifi cance of preserving
the pre-apocalyptic world through the Bible
is evident, the ongoing battles between Carnegie
and his henchmen against Eli overwhelm the audience
with unnecessary violence.
The ending also makes little sense and might
be disappointing for a fi lm that features a premier
actor like Washington. Audiences should not
close the book completely on Eli, but it does not
quite meet its potential.