Warning: Potential mild spoilers.


This movie is not for everyone (obviously, considering the mixed reviews). But was it for me? The movie takes place in a post-apocalyptic near-future, where water is scarce, there's no soap, and the majority of the population can't even read. It centers around Eli (Denzel Washington), a wanderer with a book in his possession that he must get to the west. But along the way, he comes across a little town run by a man named Carnegie (Gary Oldman) who is searching for the very book that Eli possesses. And he will do anything to get it. Eli eventually teams up with a young woman named Solara (Mila Kunis), as well, whose mother is being held by Carnegie.

That's about it. It's no real elaborate plot or anything. And I honestly can't see what all the negative fuss is about the movie... that is, unless you're a close-minded religious zealot. Sure, it's a slow movie, but it's not that slow. The religion isn't even shoved down your throat. Yes, the whole movie is about it, but it doesn't say "this is the right way" or "this is the wrong way." In fact, that's one of the things I loved most about the movie. The way it treated the subject was just like anything else: in the wrong hands, it can be devastating and used for the wrong reasons... but in the right hands, it's precious and good. I read one review that said something along the lines of them not being sure, after leaving the movie, whether or not the movie's purpose wanted them to embrace or condemn religion. I say the movie had no such agenda, but instead showed us that, really, it's up to the individual to decide between what is right and what is wrong. And right and wrong isn't always black and white.

Outside of the story, the visuals are amazing. The post-apoc look is great, and the cinematography is excellent. There were two reason I really wanted to see the movie: 1) The cinematography looked excellent and 2) the action looked great. I was right on both counts. The action is, while typically short, is a ton of fun. One of my favorite action scenes, purely from a camera angle (no pun intended), was the "house" scene near the end of the second act. The way the camera swooped in and out of the house in what appeared to be an impossible single take was outstanding.

On the acting front, Denzel Washington is good, but there really isn't a heck of a lot for him to work with. But he's good enough. I always felt from the trailers that Mila Kunis seemed out of place. After seeing the movie, I'm a bit torn on that thought. Part of me still sides with that thought, but the other part of me thought she did a pretty decent job. The best part, though, was Gary Oldman being Gary Oldman. I love that man in whatever he does, and he can sure play crazy pretty well.

I also wanted to make note that, at one point, I thought we had become Harry Potter and the Book of Eli. Besides Gary Oldman (who played Sirius Black in the movies), we had the random appearances of Frances de la Tour (who played Madame Maxime in Goblet of Fire) and Michael Gambon (Dumbledore since the third). Though I have to be honest, seeing Dumbledore and Madame Maxime go all Rambo on Sirius Black was totally fun. And, Harry Potter aside, what is it with Malcolm McDowell and the apocalypse? Just from recent memory, he's been in this, Doomsday, and the guy who wanted to bring the end of the world in the first season of Heroes. And, according to imdb, he does a character voice in the show Metalocalypse.

All in all, it was a pretty good movie. I actually really enjoyed it, but I like post-apocalyptic stories, great visuals, fun action, Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, and almost anything to do with theology... so I guess you can say it was going to be hard for me not to like this movie. (Despite its incredibly weak and open-ended V-For-Vendetta-cheap-rip-off ending).

A Keanu 'Whoa'

(P.S. I didn't even mention the freakin' awesome twist near the end of the movie... that I won't spoil. I totally wanna see it again, just so I can see it with the new mindset).

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