This Denzel Washington vehicle reprises the battle between good and evil. In essence, the message is messianic. Washington plays a lone ranger in a post-Apocalyptic world, who has walked toward the West for 30 years to deliver the important Book of Eli. Along the way, he finds a traveling companion, the beautiful Solara (Mila Kunis). Both are pursued by a motorcycle gang, led by the vicious Carnegie (Gary Oldman) who wants the book.
It’s not clear what has happened during the apocalypse, but several hints are given, such as the burn scars on Eli’s back and the vast desert land that makes up the world. The people that survived are classified into captives, capitalists and cannibals.
Visually, this movie is captivating, colors muted to a cold drabness. But the pace of the movie is very slow, and would be unbearable if not for the action sequences showing Eli’s superbly honed senses, as he single-handedly fights and defeats several gang members.
It is the story that is the star, the tale of a man’s long-standing faith in the book he carries, believing that the message within is able to save the world.
In a nod to Washington’s past film Déjà Vu, the ending answers the questions raised and brings the incidences to a satisfying dovetail. It is then that the moviegoer understands Eli’s puzzling responses and leaves the theater with a feeling that the movie has a marvelous depth.