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Review: The Book of Eli

The Road not taken
By PETER KEOUGH  |  January 13, 2010
2.5 2.5 Stars

In a post-Apocalyptic landscape of ash and destruction infested by slack-jawed cannibal gangs with carious grins, a man walks resolutely toward the sea, bearing with him the light of humanity. Sounds familiar.

But this latest oddball effort from Albert and Allen Hughes is The Road not taken: the man (Denzel Washington) is a warrior of Kill Bill prowess, and the light of humanity is embodied not in his son but in the tome of the title. Entering a Mad Max–like township in order to recharge a battery for his iPod, he runs afoul of the local boss (Gary Oldman, in need of work), who covets the book for its cryptic power.

Once again the end of the world is a pastiche of other ends of the world. And with snippets of Yojimbo, Ray Bradbury, Zatôichi, Monty Python, and much else, all of it is held together by a creepy combination of Christian fundamentalism and Old Testament fire and brimstone.

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