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Friday, January 15, 2010

The Book of Eli (***)


Book 'Em, Denzel


Do you believe in Denzel? I mean, do you believe in Denzel? I'll ask you again: Do you believe in Denzel? The Book of Eli is preposterous, ridiculous, absurd. Drawing upon the same idea as Cormac McCarthy's The Road - raggedy humans wandering through a post-apocalyptic wasteland of America hoping for salvation - The Book of Eli mixes in heaping helpings of Fallout 3 and Sunday school. The Road is a better, more realistic movie, but it's not entertaining. The Book of Eli is entertaining - if you Believe in Denzel. I believe in Denzel, and a guilty pleasure good time was delivered unto me. Denzel plays a holy man wandering "west" with the most precious book on what's left of Earth: a King James Bible. Denzel will (and does) kill to protect it. Gary Oldman will (and does) kill to possess it. Oldman, having a ball playing the heavy, has reached an age where he no longer needs make up to look like the old Dracula from Bram Stoker's Dracula. When Denzel wanders into the town Oldman rules, Oldman puts him up for the night and even whores out Mila Kunis to him. But Denzel's all naw, it ain't even like that, and she ends up being his loyal sidekick on the road. Ray Stevenson plays Oldman's top henchman who wants Kunis for himself, and who can blame him? She's the hottest little piece of ass in the burnt out, sepia-toned cinder that used to be America. Denzel never once said "My man!" or did his trademark "kiss two fingers and press them at the camera", but he did other crazy shit to compensate. I counted at least four points in The Book of Eli that left me slack-jawed: The opening scene where Denzel kills a cat for dinner (Alf loved it!), the first time Denzel unleashes his awesome fighting prowess and hacked a band of wastelanders to pieces, Denzel's ability to take a bullet in the gut and keep going and going, and the ending where we find out the Bible is inside Denzel, figuratively. The Book of Eli has plot holes you could drive a Mad Max-style armored truck through and even shamelessly sets up a sequel. Sorry, Mila, I doubt The Book of Solara is gonna happen.