Movie Review: "The Book Of Eli" (2009)
Silver Pictures with producer Joel Silver and Alcon Entertainment under script-benefiting producer Broderick Johnson realize the original screenplay by Gary Whitta, also known for his writing contributions on "Rogue One" (2016), for a Hollywood budget of 80 Million U.S. Dollars with "From Hell" (2001) directing-approved brothers Albert and Allen Hughes, who deliver with a decisive image system of a post-apocalyptic, desaturated neo-western scenario, which becomes an ideal vehicle of contemporary action-movie entertainment for leading, also-producing actor Denzel Washington as main character Eli, who walks West on a road through a desolated rural mid-west USA, thirty years after an unspeakable war, gathering random pieces of use, arrow-shooting a hairless cat for food purposes in a extremely well-executed opening shot by cinematographer Don Burgess under slight rain of ash within detailed-researched, homeless-scene-indulging production design by Gae S. Buckley, which then throughout "The Book Of Eli" keeps its tension of following the Afro-American man Eli, protecting his book, fighting hostiles and prevail in focus for his journey.
The explicit action scenes come in frequent dosage, which surprise with precisely choreographed motions of a weaponized martial art variations, when Eli's sharpened senses, passion for battery-low running MP3-music playing gadget of rhythm & blues leading him to meet further memorable outlined characters in a dusty, daylight-high-pitching small town, where the character of Carnegie, performed by menacing-looking, range-playing actor Gary Oldman, builds a nemesis character for loner Eli, when confrontations arise in gun violence for the secret book-emerging knowledge towards power and highly-active, contra-giving female characters, portrayed by emotional-arc playing actress Mila Kunis as Solara; and further character conflicts of her husband Carnegie-outplaying actress Jennifer Beals as Claudia shares emotional beats in a quietly-received chamber room scene of paced satisfactions that mark a fair equivalence to full-frontal early-on showdown of a camera-immersive shoot-out at 75 minutes to a further subconsciously-creeping cannibal couple's house exterior location, before Eli breaks-free from oppression to deliver the book of books to its final destination at Western shores with further out-of-the-ordinary suspense-holding cameos by character actors as Michael Gambon and Malcolm McDowell.
© 2018 Felix Alexander Dausend
(Cinemajesty Entertainments LLC)