Just returned from a preview of Book of Eli. (Thank you, Grace Hill Media.)  The story: A superfast, supersensitive Denzel Washington wanders through post-apocalyptic USA, trying to shepherd the last remaining Bible to a place where it will make a difference. (Note to the writer: the developing (i.e. likely to be overlooked in case of a nuclear war) parts of the world actually have Bibles, too.)

Flash Review —  Some fantastic action sequences — remind me never to get in another bar fight with D.W. (“Another”: long story.)  A captivating world.  And it’s Denzel — so of course he’s come to save the world (and the movie).

But just enough religion to make people say it’s “religious”, and not enough to actually mean anything (i.e. to make you think about the way you live your life). And the red pill: “redemptive violence”.  Not since the book of Joshua have so many people been killed to get God’s work done.  In Denzel’s hands it goes down smooth, (as does quite a plot point…), but when the flick’s over, you might wonder whether that was actually Kool-Aid you just drank.

Ranking: 2 Mad Maxes out of four.

Jim McDermott, S.J.

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