Should you see the end of the world approaching, the sky exploding, your houseplants melting, I want you to memorize this recipe:
1 part wood ash
3 parts rendered fat
That, my friends, is the recipe for soap. And apparently, once the end of the world has come and gone, soap is going to be a precious commodity, in high demand. With that recipe in hand, you’ll be a king of the eyesores. You won’t have to worry about a thing.
At least, that is, according to the Hughes Brothers, Denzel Washington and their new movie “The Book of Eli.” Actually, the movie is about a wandering swordsman (that’d be Eli, played by Washington) and a certain book he’s protecting from evildoers (give you a hint: add “jah” to the end of “Book of Eli” and you’ll be on the right track.) Gary Oldman leads the evildoers, and, apparently is the only one left who can read. So go ahead and write that recipe for soap down. It’ll be plenty safe.
Oldman wants the book because it has power – not lightning from heaven power, but the power to sway weak minds to his way of thinking. He’ll be able rule the world once he has the book; for this very reason, every other copy of the book was burned long ago. Washington owns the only copy, and is on a quest to take it somewhere it will be safe. That, apparently, is San Francisco.
Washington’s sidekick is Mila Kunis. She, apparently, either knows the recipe for soap or is secretly hiding a cavernous stash of cosmetics, as she is the only person in the film wearing mascara and lip liner. And her hair definitely looks washed. You’d think the women around her would get suspicious, but perhaps they’ve forgotten not just how to make soap, but what it’s good for as well.
But — lest you get the wrong impression– “The Book of Eli” isn’t a bad film. It’s a pretty well-executed, stylish, well-paced and entertaining film. It’s also a film about a post-apocalyptic warrior being chased by Gary Oldman and his minions. And half the fun in watching those kinds of films is in making fun of them. Anyone who really wants to take movies about the end of the world seriously needs to get their head checked.