Denzel Washington is typically good, even when the movie is bad. This movie leaves you with not much more than indifference, so I guess its one of his bad ones.
In a post apocalyptic future, Eli (Washington) walks the road, heading west looking for a better place. The future is sepia toned and grim. There are road gangs, cannibalism, water is scarce and the typical feeling that humanity is fading.
Eli is a sword wielding, kung fu fighting, road warrior disciple, who believes his mission is to carry the last copy of a certain book, to a place where it can be used for good.
Heâ€™s been walking west across America for 30 years since the war. The guy must be doubling back or something, because it really shouldnâ€™t take 30 years to make that trek.
That peaks the interest of Carnege (Gary Oldman,) the self appointed overlord of a town of survivors. He just happens to be in search of the book in Eliâ€™s possession. He believes the masses will follow the written word, and follow him as their leader. Trouble arises when both boys start fighting over who should be the rightful owner.
Washington is a great actor, but an awkward action hero. You expect him to deliver dialogue with a profound sense of understanding, but you donâ€™t expect him to round house kick his opponent and cut his arm off.
There is a promise of hope, and you get a little twist at the end of the film, but reflecting on itâ€¦it didnâ€™t click as a ground shaking reveal. In a way, the story is digestible, but if all thereâ€™s left in the word to eat are bald catsâ€¦.yuck.