DVD: The Book of Eli (15)
Careering between moments of deep biblical reflection and extreme violence, it's Denzel Washington's monosyllabic lead character who provides all the intrigue in this post-apocalyptic drama.
As a mysterious traveller braving the American mid-west to deliver the last remaining copy of the Bible to an initially unspecified source, the film recalls too many of its post-nuclear forebears to list – suffice to say there are crazed cannibals and marauding outlaws aplenty to keep the plot moving along as we're treated to the spectacle of the cast of Mad Max clashing with Washington's aloof protagonist.
If the opening scene, of Eli (Denzel Washington) roasting a cat for his dinner while listening to Al Green on an old iPod, seems to promise a sense of humour, it's a hope sadly dashed in the rest of the movie, which centres on the efforts of gangster Carnegie (played by Gary Oldman) to relieve Eli of his copy of the good book so that he can use it for his own nefarious ends.
Unusually for a biblical scholar, Eli is possessed of superhuman skills in self-defence which make Carnegie's job more difficult than he imagined. It's diverting, if bleakly so, and though the post-nuclear backdrop may seem very familiar, it's the nagging feeling that the film is somehow proselytising that keeps it from fulfilling its potential.
Music Why this music festival is still the place to spot the next big thing
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 2 Watch: Man takes selfie every mile of 2,600 mile hike, creates amazing timelapse video
- 3 The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
- 4 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
James Bond Spectre trailer drops on YouTube
Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
Kay Burley 'bias' against Ed Miliband prompts 130 complaints to Ofcom
A historian gave the most British look of despair when someone screwed up Richard III's birthday at his reburial
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Germanwings plane crash: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
Andreas Lubitz: Knee-jerk reaction to 9/11 enabled mass murder