The Book of Eli (2010)

The Book of Eli (2010) — So I thought the previews looked stupid. And they did. They did look oh-so-stupid. What got me to see it was my old credo of “I will see any movie with Tom Waits in it, no matter how small his part is.” [pretty small part, too]. All in all, I suppose the word “stupid” still applies, but it’s a reasonably badass kind of stupid and I’m always down with that. Firstly the movie takes a pro-religious stand while also not shying away from showing the way religion can be manipulated [Gary Oldman’s character, or rather his intentions]. Secondly, Mila Kunis is insanely hot. Thirdly, Denzel is a total badass in this movie. He kicks ass and doesn’t even bother taking names. Fourth, Gary Oldman is back in over-the-top bad guy mode! Woo! Fifth, Tom Waits is in this movie. That’s enough to get me on board. But let’s get back to the ass kicked by Denzel. Denzel usually plays thoughtful characters but here he plays a dude who will chop your hand off and shoot you in the face from very far away because apparently if God is on your side He will bless you with unstoppable killing powers. And that is one of the odd things about this movie. The good guy seems to kill a whole hell of a lot more people than the bad guy. Plus there is a twist later on in the movie that I didn’t see coming but I really should have seen coming because there are several hints through the movie. Once the twist is revealed, those hints make more sense but a whole shitload of other stuff suddenly doesn’t. I suppose you could write it off as a LITERAL dues ex machina [“well, [blank] was able to [blank] because of God”] but it’s suspending a whole fuckload of disbelief there. But I suppose suspension of disbelief is a given in the cinematic subgenre of post-apocalyptic flicks. This movie seems to get mentioned alongside The Road a bunch but the two have little in common besides hellish post-apocalyptic settings. The Road is a thoughtful story about survival and family. This is a movie about decapitating suckers in the name of the Lord.

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