ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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The Book of Eli(2009)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: The Hughes Brothers

Starring:
Denzel Washington/Eli
Gary Oldman/Carnegie
Mila Kunis/Solara
Ray Stevenson/Redridge
7 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
We’ve done it again! Blown ourselves to Kibble and Bits and turned the world into a scummy and deserted wasteland. For 30 years now, master butt whooper Eli (Washington) has been heading west (long ass walk) with a book (Chuck Norris Against All Odds: My Story?) in his nap-sack and he’ll mess up anybody that boggles him or his beloved reading material. When a Gary Oldman look alike played by Gary Oldman, wants the tome, conflicts arise, people get maimed and shit goes boom.
THE LOWDOWN

Our only hope is in my hands - Eli

I knew two things about THE BOOK OF ELI before grabbing it in a head lock, wrestling it to the ground and having it call me Uncle Arrow. Numero uno, it’s the Hughes Brothers back behind the camera where they f*cking belong (they've been MIA from the screens since they put out the underrated FROM HELL in 2001). I haven’t seen one Hughes Bros flick I didn’t love so I was pumped for that reason. Numero dos; Denzel Washington, messing people up, walking in slow motion and wearing cool ass shades usually means fun times at the out house for this jerk. And that’s all I needed to know. So did the film deliver?

As I parked my ass down in a theatre seat, I quickly figured out that there’s a lot to love about THE BOOK OF ELI. First of all its look was simply mesmerizing. I so dug the washed out feel, the vast and imposing, cloud filled skies and the dread imbued wasteland (cinematographer Don Burgess has outdone himself). Not a happy place…which made me happy! On top of that, the Hughes Brothers didn’t lose their flair for wow inducing kinetic visuals. The boys are back and in top form at that! Fly angles, shot compositions with oomph and action sequences shot with high energy. Wait till you see that tracking shot madness shoot-out with Denzel and crew in a dingy house pitted against a horde of baddies outside going buck nuts with heavy artillery. Now THAT’S a well executed action sequence! Although the flick was more than just scuffles, when it cranked up the hand to hand stuff or the manic pow-pow it did it with a stick of dynamite down its trousers i.e. it OWNED!

Story wise, granted its nothing we haven’t seen before, but I got to say it, the Wild West parallels totally wooed me. The “man with no name but this time with a name” angle, the evil town overlord that could’ve easily been played by Gene Hackman and the many stare downs that would result in ping-pow-ping made my day! And I got to commend the casting agent behind this sucka too! Denzel Washington was at his stoic and badass best while Ray Stevenson and Gary “EVERYONEEEEE!” Oldman once more took nothing roles on paper and elevated them to high planes of AWESOME. On her end sexy Mila Kunis brought class and estrogen bad-assery to the mainly macho man proceedings. Once again she made me forget her stint on That 70's Show. Good for you, you go girl! Yup, it’s hard to go wrong with that caliber of star power and talent. Add to all that good stuff; a cool cat score by Atticus Ross, a fascinating religious flavor that was more layered that it seemed to be at first glance, a smooth pace and couple of groovy surprises within the last act that I really didn’t see coming and you get a solid time at the movies!

If I had any qualms to spew about this bitch it would its predictability factor. Much like Avatar, this one's chain of events was of the been done to death variety and rarely deviated from the mold. If you’ve seen Mad Max, Waterworld, Cyborg or even Steel Dawn, you kind of know which way this one is going to go before it even knows it’s going there. Finally, I was a tad disappointed by “what” they did after the revelation as to the book was out in the open. Not sure where I expected the movie to go, but I craved something bigger, with more impact, specially taking into account all the build up and carnage that lead me to that point.

At the end of the evisceration though; THE BOOK OF ELI was a brilliantly shot, gleefully violent and razor suave movie that didn’t re-invent the slut but spun her in a familiar yet effective fashion– a quatte pattes! Its one of those films that I appreciated more and more AFTER it was done as my grey matter thought it through. Bend it over, you know the rest!

GORE
This one was pretty violent when it wanted to be. We get a cut off hand, varied stabbings, some arrow fun (one in the crotch), grisly bullet hits a don’t blink you’ll miss it beheading and more!
T & A
We get some legs and cleavage, nothing to GHB about!
BOTTOM LINE
It’s Waterworld (fun film) with Denzel and no water! The BOOK OF ELI trailers promised a slick ass look, wild camera movements, a cool as ice Denzel whooping skulls, Gary Oldman having a blast and enough mayhem to please my guns and fist to cuffs fetish – and that’s exactly what I got! Sure more originality as to how it all went down would have been peachy and the "too soft" finale didn’t fully deliver for me, but overall, quality and skill was on the screen, I was entertained throughout and I can think of worse ways to kill 2 hours... like writing this shitty review. See it!
BULL'S EYE
Look out for Tom Waits, Malcolm McDowell and Jennifer "Flashdance" Beals in solid supporting roles.

The script was written by script by Gary Whitta and then rewritten by Anthony Peckham.

Kristen Stewart turned down the Mila Kunis role cause she was doing New Moon (2009).

Denzel Washington was trained for the film by Bruce Lee protégé and great man Dan Inosanto.

MURDER THE BOOK OF ELI SITE HERE

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