Eli has in his possession the last surviving Bible in the world, and he is on a mission he believes was given to him by God, to head West to where it will be safe. Eli passes through a town and encounters the big dog in charge – a man named Carnegie (played by Gary Oldman).
Carnegie likes that there is another man in town who can read, and seems to have a high level of intelligence and skill (after skilfully fighting off a group of men who work for him). But it’s not long before Carnegie discovers that Eli has in his possession a Bible, something he’s been searching for desperately in order to inspire and control people.
Eli is asked to hand over the Bible or die, he refuses and naturally the bad guys try their best to kill Eli and take the bible. But Eli has a few tricks up his sleeve plus, as it seems, a little divine intervention to help him in his mission.
A Martial Arts movie?
True, this movie is on the ‘the list‘ of the 250 ‘top’ martial arts movies of all time that I am reviewing. But does it fit the genre?
Not really, in my opinion. Book of Eli is an interesting film with a few flashes of well performed martial arts action, but not really enough for it to qualify for the title of ‘martial arts movie’. But what it does offer is fantastic – especially early in the film when we are introduced to Denzel’s character.
Denzel studied under Jeet Kune Do and Martial Arts guru Dan Inosanto (student of Bruce Lee) for the role and the effort shows and give s it a little creditibility. His action scenes show a variety of technical movements and good old fashion knife slashes and kills. The fights are fast and furious and I really enjoyed them.
The fight scenes do pale in comparison to the overall quality of the movie and the story however.
A top film by anyone’s standards!
This movie really is well done, with twists and unexpected surprises. I really appreciate Eli’s mission and the fact he travels on faith.
Also I find it interesting that the world burned the Holy Bible after the Nuclear war that wiped out civilisation and that very few can read – something that seems obvious but not thought of until it is pointed out. It creates a real image of where humanity could be after such an apocalyptic event – if it should ever occur.
The fact that Eli eventually reaches his destination, with no knowledge of what it is was pretty cool, but when it is revealed that he is blind, the Bible is written in braille, you really get a different take on his mission!
Every fight and every step taken was taken purely in faith, without any knowledge, and shows a Divine force at work. Even for someone who is fairly agnostic, I really appreciated it.
A movie with martial arts elements, but not the overstatement of being a ‘Martial Arts Movie’. It is however a fantastic movie with a terrific story and a top cast, I recommend it to anyone!
On Blu Ray –
Region A (US & Canada)
The Book of Eli [Blu-ray]
Region B (UK, Australia, New Zealand, Europe etc)
The Book of Eli [Blu-ray]
On DVD –
Region 1 (US & Canada)
The Book of Eli
Region 2 (UK, Europe, etc)
The Book of Eli [DVD]
Region 4 (Australia, New Zealand, etc)