Two elements which generally serve to put me off quickly. This film was originally explained and made exciting to me by virtue of its action elements. More specifically I was told this movie will blow your mind because Eli - Denzels character is nothing short of a master of fighting skill.
I knew nothing of this film, except that it starred Denzel, an actor lost on me for years. I cast this film away in advance of seeing it worried that it may end up as John Q on the longest training day in the history of Mad Max' world.
I see reviewers take from this film an overtly Christian theme, while its prevalent it adds for me a certain level of solitude of the film. Plainly if he didn't follow that book, or any religious book his character would come across more as a vigilante rather than a follower.
Denzel plays a quiet character void of the actors usual ego and obsessive charisma. He is solemn, but sharp - his interactions with all other characters in the film show his sincerity, this sincerity carries with him throughout the movie.
The action was as was explained to me in advance, still unexpected - it was gory, it was fast, it was god-like. It often forced you to question the actual history of the Eli, who was he?, what was he capable of?....could he be killed? Another interesting and unexpected element of the film was the music both ambient and intentional. It plays an active role throughout, with an industrial score of sharp un-film like shrills and pre-apocalyptic music. In the early stages of the movie it sets a tone of sincerity and warmth throughout the film. Eli himself find solitude in music, as a guide.
Im not entirely sure what those who did not enjoy the ending expected. By the time the films ending came about, I was without any further expectation, I was seeing what Eli saw and that became the movie.
What Eli saw....
The book of Eli was a perfectly engaging movie with stunning cinematography abound, moving music, tedious character development and a tone in movies often lost in a world were movie watchers are too lazy to go on the journey shared.
For the first time in 29 years I've seen the genius of Denzel in a genre I don't prefer,wrapped up in a Christian theme with thoroughly violent action.