August 17, 2010
This is a great fanedit of a really confused film. First, I should give you my opinion on this movie, because it definitely influences my review of the fanedit.
The Book of Eli can’t decide who it wants for an audience. I guess virgin Christian males, 18-30, who like Jesus Metal and violent movies. Sorry, that’s an ad hominem attack, I know. I’m just so troubled by the message of this movie, which depicts the utmost pinnacle of Manichaean good-vs-evil simplicity and violence for its own sake, cloaked in a thin veil of morality (which only exists to permit the violence). That violence is only necessary because the bad guys are just so irredeemably bad, cartoon villains really, and the placid surety of Denzel’s character made him entirely unrelatable as a character. I would have greatly appreciated a little more nuance in the characterizations, maybe had Redridge decided to help Eli, maybe had Eli doubted for one scene. But either action would’ve been too human, not neat and tidy enough for this preachy Gorefest For Christ.
That being said (haha), I thought this was an excellent fanedit that went a long way toward improving the movie by restoring some ambiguity and lightening the heavy touch. Only two things I wish could’ve been different. For one, you left in my least favorite shot in the movie. During the ambush on the old couple’s house, the director suddenly decided he’s David Fincher and flies the virtual camera all over the place. That’s impossible to fix, save the worst shot: when the camera flies out of the house directly at the barrel of that big gun in the truck. It calls so much attention to itself, not least of which is the realization that no bullets are coming out of the gun because they would be hitting the camera. It breaks the fourth wall so hard, in such a negative way, it took me right out of the movie. I was hoping it would be gone here, but alas. My other gripe is probably less easy to fix. The ending is awful. So Eli is divinely lead to restore the KJV to an elitists’ bookshelf?
“Heeey!” said Jesus to his agent. “All these other jabloneys have their books out on Alcatraz Press. Where’s my re-release?”
God leaned back and put his snakeskin boots up on his desk. “Don’t worry, son. I got a guy,”