Lileks made a nice point about how the world must've ended in The Book of Eli - someone detonated a sepia bomb. While that's not quite accurate - the look of the movie is more washed out and faded which is, of course, appropriate for a post-apocalyptic movie - it as good as any explanation of just what the event was that ended, and changed, things in this movie. Doesn't matter, I suppose. What reason do you need for the world to end? It's only important that the world has, in fact, ended and walking through the blasted wilderness carrying a Very Important Book is Eli who has almost supernatural powers of self-defense which are a great help in the cool fights he gets into.
Which is the problem. I like movies about cool guys and their mad self-defense skills but once you realize there's never any real danger of the bad guys overcoming the good guy, it's sort of boring. Yeah, yeah, he's outnumbered and outgunned but once you've seen him fight and shoot his way out of one tight spot, you know he'll do the same with another.
But, wisecracks aside, I did like the look of the movie and I always like anything Denzel Washington is in. And I liked how the very important book Washington's character was carrying was the Bible though I think the producers sort of played it safe at the end, placing the newly published book next to a shelf of other holy books. You mean each of those books were brought to that book-safekeeping place by other mysterious heroes? Oh, and there's a twist! But I'm not really sure if the twist helps shed any new light on what occurred before we get the twist. It's more like a whoa! moment than anything but not really relevant to what went on before. (I know, I know, this is based on yet another graphic novel. If I've got a beef with the movie, gritch about the graphic novel.)
Anyway, the shortcomings notwithstanding, I did enjoy the movie. Well worth the buck we spent on it at Redbox.