Movie Review: The Book of Eli
Going into this film I was unsure of what to expect. Mainly this is because I saw very little about the film on the tv or online on the news and didn’t take the time to look. I was in fact, rather nonplussed when seeing the trailers.
Seeing the film last night I was pretty much still of the same mind. The film portrays the usual dystopian nightmare of the end of the world. The all present nuclear war, fallout, nuclear winter, and scrabbling hoards were present. The usual loner hero was wandering the wastes in search of “something” and the gangs of thugs who rape and kill as well as cannibals were present.
I kept thinking “Gee, haven’t I seen this before?”
Boy and His Dog
The Day After
I can’t remember more.. The point is, this has been done many time over. So what would a screen writer or director, or for that matter producer be thinking making this film? Well, hopefully, what can we do to make this film different.
The answer is a small but very important plot point.
Yep, religion and its book, the King James Bible. Now if you intend to see the film do not read further for there be SPOILERS BELOW!
This space left blank intentionally…
This is your last chance!
Ok, yes, the plot device is that of the Bible and religion. Mostly though, about how a book and knowledge can be used for good or ill. THIS I liked. This had some good meat to it but, in the end it was not really plumbed to the depth it could have been in the screenplay.
Evidently, as the war that brought society to this nuclear winter was alluded to as being caused by “The Bible” or religion, post the holocaust, the masses destroyed not only all Bibles, but as many books as they could. So, no knowledge, no art, nothing survives. I’ll admit, its a bit radical but, I can see some of the insane reasoning post an apocalypse.
Mostly though, the plot point of the use of knowledge and faith to control the masses resonates with me. So too does the idea that its not the book, or the data but the end user that makes it good or bad. Gee, that sounds like an argument I have been having lately with a certain child online.. but I digress.
Unfortunately though as I said above, this point is really not explored too much. and comes to light in the last 10 minutes of the film. You can though extrapolate that this is what its all about earlier if you are paying attention.
The book IS Eli. He has it memorized and he embodies the Christian ethos because he is devout. He becomes hope, he is the mustard seed… Though a mustard seed with a rather easy use of blades, guns, and other forms of destructive apparatus…
He kills well… Onward Christian Soldier.
For the most part, this movie left me meh. I liked it, but it was not great. The idea though did make me think as well about the apocalypse coming and all that it takes to survive and rebuild.
Guess its time to hunker down and build that Faraday cage, cached book collections, food, etc…