I watched the Book of Eli about a year ago, and again recently. In my book, its a great movie. It has it’s rough points, to be sure, but on the whole… wow. Sure wasn’t what I was expecting.
The movie opens up with the standard run of the mill, dreary, post apocalyptic imagery. From the beginning the writers and director are bent on driving home the point that life, even 30 years after ‘the flash’, is rough. Food is scarce, lawlessness abounds, and kill or be killed is the way of life. The first 25 minutes or so are spent establishing this fact with the viewer along with establishing that the main character, Eli, is no push over. The violence and foul language in these first 25 minutes can be a bit of a turn off, but once past that, the real story begins.
Eli is a man heading west. At first, we don’t know why, just that he is. The fact that he’s survived for 30 years in this wasteland leads us to believe that Eli knows how to stay alive. Wandering into a small town, he rubs elbows with the wrong fellows and another bloody fight ensues. The thug boss, Carnegie, decides to try to recruit Eli and in the process introduces us to the second important character in the story: Solara. Additionally, we learn that Eli has a book that he is very protective about: A bible.
Turns out, Carnegie has a fetish for books and, oddly enough, is desperately seeking a specific book. Hrm, I wonder, oh what a coincidence… he’s looking for a bible! At this point the plot direction is fixed. Eli wants to head west, Solara wants to tag along and Carnegie wants Eli’s book. I won’t spoil the ending of the movie (and I’m sure I’ve slaughtered the movie thus far with my terrible description), but rest assured that there’s a few twists in the plot that should intrigue most people.
All in all, its a good movie. Not something I’d have on repeat in my DVD player, and certainly not something I’d let the kids see. The overall theme of Christianity really makes this movie special for me, all be it, a very odd movie to find it in. Bottom line: Check it out, but perhaps fast forward the first 25 minutes of it.