“The Book of Eli” : Denzel Kicks Major Butt

Self is always in a good mood when she returns home from watching a deeply satisfying action movie.  Which “The Book of Eli” definitely is.

(Moreover, she got to watch yet another preview of “Clash of the Titans.” Self really cannot get enough of hearing Liam Neeson say that classic line:  “Release the Kracken!”  To put the absolute icing on her cake, self also discovered that Jude Law and Forest Whitaker are together in a sci-fi action movie called “Repo Men.”)

But, back to the movie at hand.

“Mad Max” meets “The Road Warrior” meets “The Road” (or what the movie adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel should have been, anyway) = “The Book of Eli”

Mila Kunis:  gorgeous and spunky and kicks ass (Puh-lease try to lose the Valley Girl accent, though.  Puh-lease)

Denzel Washington:  still gorgeous and spunky to the nth power and wicked with a machete and also sounds believable quoting from the King James version of the Bible.  All in all, an action hero for the ages.

British actors in bit roles (mostly bad guys) also kick butt, where would Hollywood movies be without Brit actors to lend their acting talents to all the bad-guy parts in movies?  Self could have sworn that was Michael Gambon in one scene, playing one-half of a cannibal couple holed up in an old house in the middle of nowhere and listening to “You Can Ring My Bell” on a gramophone.  Also, Ray Stevenson (who self last saw in BBC series “Rome,” which —  how uncanny that self is now reading Tacitus’ The Annals of Imperial Rome, which keeps reminding her of that mini-series, and now she sees the guy who played Titus Pullo —  one of the major characters in “Rome” —  in “The Book of Eli”!  Is that synchronicity or what ???)

There is also a very amusing character called the Engineer, and he has a mechanical contraption on his head and has some of the best dialogue of the movie (especially in a scene where he asks Denzel if he has any chapstick and Denzel says “No, but I do have cat oil.  It’s fresh!  Great for the lips!”), and this role is played by Tom Waits.  Yup, the singer Tom Waits.

Also:  Holy-Cow-is-that-Jennifer-Beals-playing-blind-prisoner/Mom-of-Mila-Kunis and is that brilliant casting or what?

Score kicks butt.

Cinematography kicks butt.

Self isn’t sure if this is supposed to be an anthem for God-fearing Christians everywhere, but somehow that got lost in all the scenes where Denzel finishes off all the bad guys with one flick of his machete.

Why couldn’t the music of “Avatar” have been like this?  Talk about music setting the mood!

Three-and-a-half out of four stars.

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