The Book of Eli

By Mark Ramsey | 2010/01/10

In The Book of Eli, Denzel Washington is a sharp-shooter, an expert archer, a machete-wielding fighter, a slave-girl magnet, and – like all killing machines – a Biblical scholar.


“And God said ‘let there be light between a man’s head and his shoulders,’” said Denzel, as he carved through one bad guy after another.

Yes, Denzel fights with the intensity of a hundred Priceline Negotiators!

“If I could shill for ShamWow, I could do it all!” he said.  “In fact, I can’t even slice through lettuce,” he ruefully acknowledged, tearing his salad by hand into bite-sized chunks.

The end of the world is upon us and what’s left looks like HBO’s Deadwood with more horseless carriages and more expletives deleted. Nobody knows how to read books but the old folks, which sounds just like the pre-apocalyptic world, if you ask me.

It’s nuclear winter, and Denzel gets his clothes off the rack – by which I mean the dead guy hanging from the rack.

He bathes by sticking a moist towelette down his pants. “I saw Kim Kardashian do this in a Carl’s Jr. commercial,” said Denzel, “but I think her towelette wore a HazMat suit and had to be doused with a fire hose.”

And what triggered this apocalypse?  “It’s been 31 years since the flash,” says Denzel. And I hope he’s not talking about that time Britney Spears got out of her car.

Denzel is a “walker,” strolling eternally West to a destination that is a big surprise, if only because what happens there is so unbelievable it should have written by Dr Seuss, narrated by Boris Karloff, and finished off with a Roast Beast.

Enter Gary Oldman, the go-to guy for crazy old villains. Oldman runs the dusty, ramshackle town with an iron fist and a gang of thugs modeled after the fashion stylings of Rob Zombie.  Not since Godzilla rampaged Tokyo has a monster with such bad skin ruined a town!

What’s this, both crazy old Gary Oldman and crazy old Malcolm McDowell in the same movie?  Until now, I wasn’t even sure these were different actors!  Cue the on-set pharmacy!

“While the rest of the crew is lunching at craft services, we’ll be chewing on scenery,” said McDowell, dabbing his mouth with a napkin after finishing off a production assistant.

Flashdancer Jennifer Beals returns to the big screen as a blind woman in a portrayal so unconvincing, her braille has to jump off the page and read itself. “Oh, what a feeling!” the raised markings sing, as Jennifer’s fingers caress them with all the tenderness that comes from a career headed to the actor’s perp-gatory called Law & Order.

Where’s the color in this color motion picture? The Book of Eli is saturated in the kind of sepia tone you can’t usually get in a photo unless you dress as a cowboy at the mall.

Denzel has a book and everyone wants it. Especially, Commissioner Gordon, er, Gary Oldman.

“Is that the Rachel Ray cookbook?” asked Oldman. “I want to whip up something delightful for my thugs.”

The Book of Eli is like a fly throwing itself at your closed window – it means well.  But after Eli, 2012, and The Road, if I never see another end-of-the-world movie between now and the end of the world, it will be too soon.

Personally, I prefer my Biblical scholars to be unarmed and comparatively unskilled in Martial Arts.

And to keep their machetes on the mantel.


151 Responses to “The Book of Eli”

  1. Mark Ramsey says:

    Keep waiting!

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