I'd like to make a short list of things that annoyed the living hell out of me in the film.
1) The blatant thievery from Mad Max II and Waterworld. Only one of those films is worth stealing from, and its pretty damn obvious when you do.
2) Canned goods are still edible and can be traded 30 years after they were made and have been through a nuclear war? They're hardly edible now! Also, clothes and designer shades have survived without any damage and you can look like a model from one of the higher end catalogues if you put a little effort in.
3) The world appears to be a sandy wasteland with no agriculture or industry, so what did the people eat and where did they get the cloth to make their clothes, the ammunition for their semi automatic weapons and the fuel for their still functioning motor vehicles?
4) Further to that, it is stated that not many people from before the war survived, so who taught the ones born since to drive and operate complex machinery?
5) Books can survive war and fire and 30 years without getting scorched or even turning a bit yellow,and your Ipod will still work. Nobody has thought to plant a crop, but they have developed battery chargers.
OK, those are the most obvious flaws, but now we have to take a look at Eli himself, a character so ridiculous that its impossible to take him seriously. First up, he's bulletproof (except he isn't) and he's blind, although right up until that little bombshell is revealed he performs tasks that would be impossible for a blind man to complete. Oh, and he can stand in the middle of a firefight and not get hit once, but he can shoot down about 12 baddies with a single magazine from his pistol. Not since the A Team have the bad guys been such lousy shots. When he isn't using his pistol, he uses a big machete to hack people to death with, all in the name of the Lord. But thats OK, because the Bearded One has chosen Eli to be his last prophet, delivering his word to the poor folk of the now ravaged earth. Only he doesn't.There is absolutely no back story to Eli, we only know that he's been walking for 30 years murdering anybody he doesn't like (which is everybody)and in that time has never found people worthy of his teachings. Oh yeah, he has the only copy of the bible in the whole world. Its a King James bible obviously, because God is a W.A.S.P
We are told that after the war, the remaining citizens of planet earth spent the time that followed not rebuilding or replanting, but seeking out copies of the book and destroying them. It appears that only 10% has survived the war and subsequent scorching of the earth, but between them they managed to destroy about 5 billion copies of the gospels. they must have worked awfully hard.
So, a bullet proof blind prophet of God wanders the deserts of America for 30 years killing everybody, unless they really deserve it because they're rapists, trying to find a safe place for the holy book he has in his possession. There's a baddie after it, but he is so inept and stupid that he lets Eli keep his knife and gun when he takes him prisoner, and even sends him a young girl to keep him occupied while he's being detained, in the hope that he'll join his baddie gang. He doesn't, of course, but the girl hears a few words from the book and instantly becomes his disciple. They escape his clutches and walk out of town, hotly pursued by vehicles that he manages to outdistance by miles in about 15 minutes.
If it sounds like I'm making this up as I go along then its because this is exactly what happened I suspect. to fill in the massive plot holes and action sequence absurdities, the writers appear to have patched the script with garbage like 'Oh, lets make him bullet proof. Thats gets him out of that one'
So onward we plod until Eli gets bested, which makes God angry and there's a big flash of lightning but no repercussions, and the baddie, played by a completely wasted Gary Oldman, gets his prize. Only he doesn't because TAADAA!! The book is in braille! Genius. Luckily Eli has memorised it and finally reaches his destination, having taped a bullet wound in his stomach up, and recites the entire thing to a man with a pen and around 10000 sheets of paper to spare before finally dying.
Now, the entire film is nothing more than a poorly realised piece of Christian propaganda, the message being that without the word of God, the world will descend into savagery. I don't really have a problem with that, films have to be about something and thats as good a premise as any other, my problem is that it is just very badly played out. I don't mind being fooled, like in The Usual Suspects, what I object too is being treated like a fool. The close up of Eli's eyes, where his blindness is revealed is supposed to be the big 'Ahhh!' moment, where everything suddenly makes sense, but it makes a nonsense of the entire film and you just wasted 2 hours being lied to by the most inept story tellers I have ever come across. It is suggested that he's only half blind, so perhaps in the land of the blind the one eyed man is king is the moral here, but even on that level it fails miserably.
The Book of Eli
Action / Adventure / Drama / Thriller
The Book of Eli
Action / Adventure / Drama / Thriller
In a violent post-apocalyptic society, a drifter, Eli, 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, whilst 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, the man views Eli's impressive fighting skills and offers Eli a place within his gang. Carnegie presses his blind lover Claudia to send her daughter, Solara, 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 foe as he makes it more than clear that if they want the book,...
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August 02, 2011 at 10:12 PM