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Book of Eli all slaughter, no heart 

The Hughes Brothers' wasteland drama isn't smart enough to last.

Decked out like Blade, with shades on and a sword on his back, Eli (Denzel Washington) ventures through decimated civilizations preaching the good book. He's taken it all to heart, except the Thou Shalt Not Kill part. The Book of Eli directors The Hughes Brothers get off on silly over-the-top slaughter, while still expecting their prosperity message to be taken seriously. The thread of what bare necessities are required to build a society holds interest but isn't taken far enough. The Book of Eli's wasteland drama is as dull as The Road and Terminator Salvation; The Hughes Brothers revert to post-apocalypse cliches as dependently as their 'Nam vet cliches in 1995's Dead Presidents. If The Book of Eli has visual flourish and can be called their first movie with heart, it's a compromised halfway-gesture. Its tone is too languid for lasting mainstream appeal, and it's not smart enough to amount to something greater.


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