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-Book of Eli (R)

by Dr. D ~

Theater release: January 15, 2010 by Warner Bros. Pictures; Directed by: The Hughes Brothers; Runtime: 1 hour 58 minutes; Cast: Denzel Washington (Eli), Gary Oldman (Carnegie), Mila Kunis (Solara), Ray Stevenson (Redridge), Jennifer Beals (Claudia), Michael Gambon (George).

image A post-apocalyptic tale that immediately reminds one of the old Mad Max flicks, the violence in particular. The story line plays out very similar to other movies in that genre except Eli (played by Denzel Washington) is on a mission from God.

America is a desert wasteland and it has been 30 years since a world war destroyed civilization. It’s every man and woman for themselves in this stark world of burned out buildings and crumbling highways. Food and water are scarce and it is surprising what is considered valuable. Cannibalism is a problem, violence is the norm, and only the strong survive. A great world to live in.

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Eli is traveling to the west coast where he believes that a voice from God told him to go and deliver his treasure- a book.  Turns out that the Book is a King James version of the Bible with one more wrinkle I won’t mention. It is supposed to be the last Bible in existence. The Bibles were all burned after the world war for some reason never fully explained.

Meanwhile, a town warlord –Carnegie (played by Gary Oldman) has roving armed bands attacking travelers looking for a Bible. He hopes to use it to control people better and expand his empire. The battle begins when Eli shows up in his town with a copy.

Eli makes it out of town and Carnegie and his goons pursue him. Also a young woman, Solara, ends up as his companion and helps him to his destination.

Lots of twists and turns in the story but Eli does complete his mission but Carnegie does get his hands on a copy of the Bible but one he cannot use as his little empire begins to fall apart.

At the end, the Bible is published again and takes its place on a library shelf right next to a Koran.

Many Christians might like this movie in spite of all of the violence. I did. I found it rather inspiring to see Eli make the best of bad situations and continue to pray and read the Bible. Is Eli a sort of prophet? Yes, in an Old Testament way and one who dishes out judgment in the process. He seems to have supernatural power at times in overcoming his enemies on the road. Way more than good luck or military training could ever account for.

Yes, I even believed that Eli did hear from God and was on a mission from God. In fact I had the feeling that he had actually been blind at one time but received sight to carry out his long journey. I swear at the last when his mission was done he looked like he was blind once more.            *Top

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