Post-apocalyptic world (well, USA). One man has been on a journey to carry the last remaining copy of a book to the 'west'. The 'big bad boss' of a town wants that book and will do anything to get it.
Stars a solid cast of: Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Jennifer Beals, Mila Kunis, Ray Stevenson. Oh yeah, and Malcolm McDowell.
Directed by Albert and Allen Hughs (the Hughs brothers) - who brought us other good flicks like "Dead Presidents" and "From Hell".
The Look and feel of the post-apocalypse? Not bad- dirty, gritty, grim, but a little bit more brightly lit than the world portrayed in The Road. Burnt up and washed out. And, as in The Road, some folks have resorted to cannibalism to survive. At least this flick nods to the potential long-term negative effects of eating people.
Cast - did well. Washington and Oldman - on point as ever. McDowell phoned in his role, but it wasn't demanding of him to begin with. Mila Kunis - I'll have to say I'm kinda proud to see this "That 70s Show" and "Family Guy/Robot Chicken" alum taking her career seriously and not only getting herself cast into some good mainstream flicks, but actually acting in them as well. She's got potential, that one. And yes, we can forgive her for being in "Santa With Muscles" because she was 13yrs old (Ed Begley Jr. has no excuse).
I was also glad to see Ray Stevenson in this -- he played Pullo in HBO's awesome Rome series. Speaking of -- guess what's in development? A "Rome" movie. That's right! With Pullo and Vorenus. Yay! \o/ Woo! Hope it's as awesome as the series was until HBO killed it, like it tends to kill off anything really good (Carnivale, anyone?) while it backs crap that targets the vacuous, shallow and artificial demographic (those shows know who they are).
Back to "Eli". Did I like it more than "The Road" as a post-apocalyptic? In some ways, yes, in other ways, no. In actuality they aren't bad as complimentary post-apocalyptic flicks. Could almost be interchangeable worlds. Despite the extra bit of fantasy "Eli" heaps into the story to bring it all together at the end.
This movie doesn't require deep focused attention to enjoy - however paying attention to details does pay off by the end of the flick. But if you missed those details some are recapped for you at the end so you can say "ahh! i get it".
Chances are I'll rewatch this flick when it hits HBO/Cinemax/Showtime or wherever.
Spoiler: I still haven't figured out why Gary Oldman's character was so bent upon, and willing to kill for, acquiring the last remaining copy of "Twilight". Jeez. I happen to think it was a good idea for post-apocalyptic mankind to burn every remaining copy. Curse Denzel Washington for finding it and protecting it.