The Book of Eli

Posted by james on Sept. 4, 2010

(post.rating: 6)

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This movie looked really neat on the previews, but then again the genre is a bit crowded. However, I was intrigued by the tease of some biblical themes or influences, so I really wanted to see this.

After about 10 minutes, my wife couldn't keep watching. The movie is pretty disturbing for those not used to post-apocalyptic movies. Regular fare for me, so I watched the rest by myself.

Some very good choreography, lightning fast w/o slow motion (*thank you* Dan Inosanto!), really nice to watch (sometimes more than once, it goes by so quickly). There's not a ton of action in this though, as it's mostly a character-driven and plot-driven piece. The whole movie was tinged yellow & washed out, which really made you feel the UV in the film (a bit like Pitch Black).

I was looking forward to Mila Kunis, as it's been really neat to watch her branch out from her 70's Show role. However, she falls a bit flat again. It always felt like she was acting - no heart in her, and not believable as a naive or semi-fragile girl. It reminds me of Max Payne - too much trying, not enough emotion there. Like she's built for a different role, and this is a bit of a shoe-horn. Oh well, next time.

The plot is... intriguing. There's a good feel for the world they're in, a bit of action to keep things going, and an overall mysterious plot that drives it. But the ending... while it makes logical sense, it's just a bit less satisfying than I'd hoped. The whole time I was wondering - How is this going to tie together? And at the end - Ahh, yes. That makes sense. There's still a bit of twists at the end, but the "big question" of "What's his mission?" is just not... satisfying. Somehow they answer they question of "What" without really satisfying the "Why?"

But it was still a good movie. It wasn't a feel-good movie, and not an action/adrenaline movie. A slower "feel" movie. I kept noticing the soundtrack - very ambient, mood-setting, a bit sad. It reminded me of some Death Cab for Cutie tracks in places, definitely slow and down-beat. I really like it.

It's hard to rate this movie. There was a lot good, some falling points, and a neat feeling to the whole thing. Very worth watching, but not something you'd end up loving.