I haven’t even seen a trailer for this so didn’t know what to expect other than Denzel Washington and that it is based in post-apocalyptic America. The former a plus, the latter could make a film very bleak indeed.
I was kind of expecting a Castaway type of movie where Denzel Washington’s character only has himself to talk to. Or a football.
The film very much started that way but I had a sense there were going to be other people in it. I did wonder, that if the world is wiped out and society has to start again from Barbarians upwards, how Eli had managed to both keep and charge an iPod? My mobile has to be replaced every 18 months.
However, the beautiful images of him being able to listen to old music set the scene for the film. It turns out our 21st century hero is fully capable of looking after himself in the face of gun toting, chainsaw wielding, machine gun operating Barbarian gangs that ruled the post-war world and were out for anything they can get, clothes, sunglasses, weapons or human flesh.
Crucially he appeared to be spiritually enlightened and focused on doing his bit to help rebuild the new world by carrying a sacred book across the country to where it can be put to good use.
Indeed, Eli meets lots of ‘people’ (murderous gangs, thieves, cannibals) along the route. If I’d read the movie information I would have known Gary Oldman plays the baddie who is hell-bent on manipulating his gangs to retrieve the book for his own use once he finds out that Eli has it.
The funniest scene of the film is when Eli meets an elderly couple managing to survive all alone in the wilderness in a ram shacked house and an old gramophone player (look it up in Wikipedia) playing a completely out of place 1970’s disco classic.
The most fantastic twist comes right at the end (unless you’re clever enough to pick up on the hints throughout) and is sure to leave you exiting the cinema with a smile on your face knowing there is hope for mankind. Really worth watching. 8/10 Smile factor 7½/10
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