The Book of Eli is a Blind Mad Max

Eli: Its in the back of the TV
Carnegie: Go check the TV!
Henchman: The what?

The Hughes’ brothers 2010 dystopic Western The Book of Eli attempts to be many things; many more things than I will do here in this little write up. What follows are several completely unrelated. spoiler-ridden, and very loose reactions I had after watching Eli tonight.

Growing up, I briefly got into a Western series entitled Legacy – a Western, teen-fic series baptized with Christian overtones. The Preacher, if I’m remembering this right, was the archetypal “Man in Black” that spoke softly (but when he did he quoted Scripture) and carried a hot six-shooter. Driven to get the girl and bring the order of law to a town being controlled by a greedy tyrant, he… well, you get the idea. Preacher always had a Proverb or (eisegeted) phrase of Christ’s to quote to the bad guy, right before the plot drove the Preacher to resolve the tension by killing the bad guy and galloping away on his trusty steed.

It was the perfect amount of testosterone with a spiritual veneer for me as a young teen. However, even then I reacted to a strong dichotomy between the Preacher’s penchant for quoting the Sermon on the Mount right before turning the other cheek barrel of his shotgun on the baddie. One of the best times was when Preacher brought his Bible and his revolver into the pulpit, extinguishing the baddie by shooting him through(!) the wooden lectern.

That same schizophrenia pervades Eli. Continue reading