I’ll be honest with you, The Book of Eli panel at last summer’s San Diego Comic-Con garnered little attention, despite having stars Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, and Mila Kunis in attendance, as well as a kick-ass trailer [Read SDCC 09: ‘Book of Eli’ Panel]
The Hughes Brothers‘ film, which opened in theaters this past Friday, was just too far off and too far buried under anticipated blockbusters like Avatar and Iron Man 2 (and of course Twilight: New Moon).
Plus, how many good movies ever came out in January? It’s usually not a good sign, but thanks to Cloverfield (a box office smash in January 2008), I’ve come to expect at least one decent January movie a year, and let me tell you, The Book of Eli is the one for 2010. I absolutely loved the movie, despite the questions it left me with. The entire movie could have been just Washington and Oldman and I would have been fine with it.
The film takes place 30 years in the future in a post-apocalyptic setting where one man, Eli (Washington), is traveling the country with an important book, one that the villainous Carnegie (Oldman) would do anything to possess. The inhabitants are reminiscent of Road Warrior, with Kill Bill-like action. You’re on the edge of your seat as Eli makes his arduous journey, even after we learn what he’s capable of. And what is this all-important book he carries and why does Carnegie want it so badly? And how to does Mila Kunis’s character fit in?
Time for some SPOILER TALK! Below are SPOILERS for The Book of Eli. Free free to add your thoughts in the Comments section.
It’s 30 years into the future after all our modern-day necessities like electricity, running water, manufacturing, food production, and the like, have ceased. Not only that, but the Sun has finally done what we all figured it would do — blind the people.
- What caused the war and how did it do so much damage?
- Who are the ‘them’ that the people are referring every time someone checks Eli’s hands. A few times, he said “I’m not one of them” or someone else referred to Eli saying “He’s not one of them.”
- What were Eli’s travels like for the 30 years we didn’t get to see?
- How did Eli become so highly trained in combat (hand-to-hand and with weapons)?
- Speaking of Eli’s fighting — totally badass! The first few fight sequences are straight out of Kill Bill and are far from predictable.
- Umm… Eli’s blind!!! Oh, shit, I did NOT see that coming. Now I have to go back and what the film all over again with this integral information. This explains why he never attacks first; why he didn’t say anything when Claudia — who’s blind — first comes into his room; why he’s walking everywhere instead of driving; and so much more… must see this movie again!
- Nice appearance by Tom Waits!
- Mila Kunis’ character Solara appears to be the cleanest human in the film (aside from her mother). We know that she was born after the war and is illiterate, yet she seems smarter than many of the people older than her (the goons who work for Carnegie and the women who serve as whores, and also the people on the road). She is also clearly “untouched” and has great teeth for someone who probably didn’t have the benefit of growing up with toothpaste, fluoride-infused water, and regular dental check-ups. Her hair also looks beautifully done, as if it was washed and set every day. By the way, if there was no more shampoo or other means to wash my hair, or even enough water for drinking, let alone washing, I think I’d forgo growing my hair down to my ass like Solara and her mom, and instead maintain a buzz cut.
- Oh yeah, by the way, the book is The Bible, but I think that was obvious to everyone, right? Unless the film was going to make up a new mythology, having the all-important book be The Bible is the only way to go. But why is this the last copy of The Bible? I know it was mentioned that all copies were destroyed, but why?
- Carnegie’s mission: On paper, Carnegie’s obsessive quest to possess The Bible seems, well, a silly premise. But, when you think about it, he has a point. He says that using the words of The Bible, he can get more followers, which is true. But, here’s my question: Why exactly does he need/want more followers? He already has plenty already and pretty much runs his own town. More followers would mean more mouths to feed and bodies to clothes at a time when necessities are severely scarce as it is.
- Why didn’t more people think to go to the oceans?
- If the war turned the land into a wasteland, wouldn’t the oceans have been affected too? Yet, in the end, Eli and Solara make it into San Francisco Bay where the water seems fine (maybe it wasn’t, but it seemed ok; oh, and good think there was a fully intact row boat there at their disposal).
- Aside from a stray cat or bird, what are the people eating? Even canned goods wouldn’t last 30 years and it doesn’t seem like the soil is even viable for planting crops.
- After Carnegie gets shot, he’s bandaged up and then takes off after Eli. When he returns home, one of his men has a walking cane ready for him. Just wondering where this came from? Is there a fully stocked medical facility there too?
- After 30 years those KFC handy wipes would have been all dried up.
- Where is the gasoline for the trucks coming from? After 30 years, I would think all the gas stations would be emptied out.
What did you think of The Book of Eli? Do you want to see a prequel/sequel?