Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The Book of Eli

Their pimp fascination notwithstanding, I've been a long-time fan of the Hughes Brothers. I admire the way they refuse to be pigeon-holed by the industry. One minute they're doing a gritty urban drama like Menace II Society and the next, they're off helming a graphic novel adaptation based on the killings of Jack The Ripper, From Hell. It's fun to hear about their coulda-been projects like a Batman reboot with Clint Eastwood, a Pirates of the Caribbean sequel or The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp.

You might not always like the work, but they bring a unique perspective to the table. Even their misfires are worth watching. After a self-imposed exile from Hollywood, it's nice to see them back on the scene with the Book of Eli. Below is a two-part motion comic prequel that does very little in terms of backstory, but sure does look cool...

This is starting to become the norm in the marketing of genre flicks. I have my doubts about their effectiveness, but they probably aren't that expensive to produce. More multimedia goodies: a link to a podcast interview with Book of Eli screenwriter Gary Whitta from 4 Guys 1UP here.

The film is set decades after a nuclear apocalypse. We've gone backwards. It's all about survival of the fittest. No time for stuff like readin', writin' and religion. In fact, folks blamed the Bible as the cause of their troubles and destroyed every last one of 'em... almost. Enter Eli, the wanderer from the desert with the last Bible. Corigan's (Oldman) been searching for the Good Book for ages. He knows the power it possess, to move masses -- for his own selfish purposes. Think there might be trouble ahead?

This isn't one for the ages, but when you have the likes of Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman on screen, it's certainly watchable. Mila Kunis is a lovely actress but I want to know who keeps casting her in these tough girl roles. First Max Payne and now this. Looks out of her element. Denzel is getting up there, but holds his own in the action sequences. Overall, the backstory feels a little hollow. A lot of telling and not showing. What they do show, looks great. Good score too.

Book of Eli is a slick faith-based drama disguised as a mindless action flick. The last 15 minutes drag on and there's a big reveal at the end that almost ruined the film for me -- others may love. Its Box Office take has been solid.


Nice comeback.

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