The Book of Eli

As soon as you hear the title, you can probably guess what kind of film The Book of Eli is going to be. Yes, it is the story about a man named Eli (played by Denzel Washington, who is also one of the film’s producers), who has a book; it is also about the Bible, which in this case seems to provide not a set of beliefs but simply the hope that humanity has a future.

The film plays out in a postapocalyptic wasteland that will look familiar to fans of the Mad Max trilogy. Like the protagonist in those films, Eli must fight off a slew of sleazy killers, thieves and rapists who, like Eli, have survived the nuclear holocaust that occurred 30 years earlier. Eli’s mission, given to him by a voice in his head, is to move west with the book, which is supposedly the last copy on Earth. (The other copies were destroyed in anger when religion was blamed for the planet’s destruction—a theme the film doesn’t explore as deeply as it might.)


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