Directors Allen and Albert Hughes have demonstrated their cinematic flair previously in their graphic novel adaptation of the Jack the Ripper conspiracy in 2001’s FROM HELL, and they apply their stylized filmmaking again in THE BOOK OF ELI. Yet like their previous effort, the results here are steeped in process which lovingly paints the screen but circumvents the heart. In a story which should or at least could evoke strong emotion, the Hughes Brothers tap the bell they should ring loudly. Most of the requisite story elements are in place, but the telling lacks the amped volume to fulfill its potential — sound and vision signify less than ELI‘s promise.
However well intended is their quasi-religious parable, this drawn out journey of a stranger across an estranged land spreads its story too thin to enthrall audiences. Despite earnest efforts by actors Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman and Mila Kunis, their characters remain as flat and arid as the ruined landscape around them.
Is the talented cast enough to raise THE BOOK OF ELI above the crowd in the post-apocalyptic genre? Read FilmEdge’s in-depth review to learn the answers.