In a violent post-apocalyptic society, a drifter, Eli (Denzel Washington), has been wandering westward across North America for the last thirty years. He finds solace in a unique book which he carries on his person and guards closely, while surviving by hunting small animals and seeking goods in destroyed houses and vehicles to trade in villages for water and supplies. When he reaches a village ruled by the powerful mobster, Carnegie (Gary Oldman), the man views Eli's impressive fighting skills and offers Eli a place within his gang. Carnegie presses his blind lover Claudia (Jennifer Beals) to send her daughter, Solara (Mila Kunis), to at least convince Eli to spend the night by sleeping with him. However, Eli proves to be the better man when he gently declines her advances. The girl sees Eli's book, and when Carnegie finds out he beats her mother until she reveals what she saw. Carnegie sends his gang into the wasteland to take the book from Eli, but the man proves to be a formidable...Written by
Harry Jankel, London, England
When Eli encounters the thugs in the beginning of the movie, one thug points out that Eli is carrying a gun (a shotgun). The leader then says that it's not loaded and that they never are. This is a reference to Mad Max, in which Max used an unloaded shotgun to get his way. See more »
When the convoy goes after Eli and Solara, they are going west. From behind, the shadows are to the left which would mean the Sun is on the north side of them when it actually shines from the south. See more »
Young Woman Hijacker:
Please, don't hurt me. Here, take anything you want. You want some food? Take it.
I'm not gonna hurt you.
Young Woman Hijacker:
Yeah? That's what the last guy said. Could... could you help me? The wheel came off. I can't fix it. Maybe if I... if I could... but I can't.
You know the only good thing about no soap... is that you can smell hijackers a mile off!
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Aside from the title, there are no opening credits. See more »
A montage of deleted scenes on the DVD include a scene where Claudia reads the Braille bible to Carnegie as he lies on his deathbed. See more »
Upon first viewing the trailer I was immediately giddy to see a new post-apocalyptic film in the vein of The Road Warrior. Being a fan of the genre, one must get used to the repetitive "lone wanderer" theme so prominently used. I figured this film would go through the same formula, but prepared to enjoy myself.
Yes it did use the lone wanderer as a driving plot device, and yes it did bring the arbitrary twist. Yes all the survivors are short on t-shirts, but live in a wealth of leather and goggles. Yes everything in this film looks like and feels like a typical post-apocalyptia. But the substance of the story is far more powerful then I could ever have expected.
Without giving away too much, yes the film is essentially a Christian metaphor. Eli seems to be protected by some mysterious force, guided by "God" to head west. But it's what the meaning behind this admittedly bizarre plot that makes this film so great. It truly is a film about faith and believing in one's self. Using the dreary post-apocalyptic backdrop, the film is able to contrast this powerful message with the harsh landscape. Even amidst such despair, one can rise and accomplish anything. In a world slowly becoming apocalyptic itself, this message is much welcomed.
The other aspects lending to the power of The Book of Eli are its technical aspects. The cinematography is simply beautiful. Moody slo-mo shots abound with wonderfully toned colors. Everything looks dark and dead, the sun beating down endlessly on the dusty dunes. The soundtrack adds immensely to this feeling, using soft ambient chords and blasting action-scene drums when necessary. Overall The Book of Eli is an excellent film itself and an excellent spin on the post-apocalyptic genre.
Oh yeah, and Denzel Washington actually manages to pull off the part of a wizened, old bad ass.
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