Avoid 'The Book of Eli'

By Ed Koch

This picture is one big waste of time, including that of the actors and those in the audience who pay to see it.  The star of the film, Denzel Washington, is also one of its producers.  How he could have viewed this flick as a vehicle for his talents is one of the great mysteries of Hollywood.  It is beyond me why so many first-rate actors agree to appear in and produce so many awful films.
 

The plot of The Book of Eli is now a familiar script on the screen--the end of the world and its few survivors.  In this unintended sequel to The Road, which is also currently playing in theaters, Eli (Denzel Washington), may or may not be a messiah.      
  
Eli carries a very special object that needs to be safeguarded for the salvation of those who survived the existing Holocaust that has devastated the world.  During his quest, he has traveled West on foot for many years.  Eli is impervious to all of the physical dangers he encounters, including the mayhem pervading the new world with its marauders looking to kill and engage in cannibalism.  While he never raises his voice, he deftly dispatches all who seek to bring him down along the way.  
   
One of Eli's adventures includes meeting and taking on the ruler of a small town, Carnegie (Gary Oldman), who has a monopoly on the sale of water.  Carnegie's mistress, Claudia (Jennifer Beals), whom he abuses, has a daughter, Solara (Mila Kunis).  He uses Solara in an effort to win Eli's cooperation by offering Solara to him.   
   
At times this awful film seemed to be an attempt at combining the wonderful Mad Max and Samurai films, but it doesn't come close to the greatness of those movies.  It can only be described as unbelievably bad.  Avoid.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2010/01/avoid-the-book-of-eli/33742/