Hollywood hasnt ended the world this often since the 1950s, it didn’t end then, so the odds this time are remote as well.
Twin filmmakers Allen and Albert Hughes decided to return to the big screen after a nine-year hiatus (their last film together was From Hell ) with a postapocalyptic fable about a lethal warrior with a precious book.
Eli (Denzel Washington) has what might well be the last King James Bible in the world. Its 2043 and, after the flash, all such texts have been destroyed on the grounds that they were bad influences on the human race. Now he must protect this scriptural treasure from the clutches of Carnegie (Gary Oldman), the megalomaniacal mayor of a burned-out desert town. (In his upstairs saloon office, this scenery-chewing Oldman looks uncannily like Larry King pretending to be Deadwood s dangerously mercurial Al Swearengen.)
Rarely has a movie worn its cultural references so baldly on its sleeve. As Eli heads west down Cormac McCarthys road, he must deal with violent bikers straight out of George Millers The Road Warrior . The townscapes are pure Heavy Metal (the illustrated fantasy magazine, not the much-disparaged musical style), and Eli himself bears more than a passing resemblance to a Japanese pop-culture hero (think samurai; despite the omnipresent radiation damage, I am obviously not referring to Godzilla).
Ultraviolent but full of pious platitudes, The Book of Eli seems to have been made primarily for Baptists with a guilty yearning for sleaze. To be sure, body parts roll and loose women abound, but that wont keep these viewers out of church on Sunday morning. Who knows? This movie might actually appeal primarily to those who are accustomed to thinking of Hollywood as a limb of Satan.