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02 February 2011

When God sends a warrior: A review of The Book of Eli

Come on. This is a blog about survival and prepping. You know I was going to get around to this eventually. Things were a bit distracted in January 2010 when this hit theaters. So I just saw it a couple of weeks ago.

We're dropped into a post-nuke/holocaust/apocalypse setting of gray skies and desolation. It's a world not of vivid but desaturated colour with some scenes almost looking sepia. It almost looks like whatever happened took all the colour out of the world as it took the joy out of the people.(Brilliant cinematography) Eli (Denzel Washington) a man skilled in survival walks across the country carrying one of the last existing copies of The Bible to an unknown place in the West. He's a man of faith in a world that has forgotten it...the last of the faithful and the beginning of their return. He's more warrior-prophet than minister...more Moses than St. Paul. And that's probably what the world would need at that time.

He acquired his skills somewhere. I won't say he was a survivalist in his former life before it all hit the fan. He may have been military spec-ops. He may have been a martial arts expert. He may have been a teacher or a preacher. Mushroom clouds have a way of changing the way one looks at the world. However he came by it, he learned what he needed to survive and he became good at it.

There are a number of things that are talked about in the prepper community regarding TEOTWAWKI that happen in the movie. 1) The Barter Economy is in full swing with things like Chapstick being traded for services and other goods. 2) Anarchy means that there is no bureaucracy. There may be former bureaucrats alive, but the economy in which they used to operate is no more. No SSNs or tax forms or other crap that we stress over. 3) The four elements, water, shelter, fire, food, are what people focus on, not the layers upon layers of derivation that people today think are essential. The illusion is long gone.

I'm sure Steve Jobs is happy to see that 30 years after the holocaust, his 3G iPod with the wheel and four buttons is still playing tunes. ;) There were a number of other products that were on display. I believe Eli was using a pair of Beats by Dr. Dre earbuds and he was definitely carrying an Oakley backpack. His sunglasses are probably Oakley as well.

The cast includes a number of well-known actors including Gary Oldman, Ray Stevenson, Jennifer Beals, Mila Kunis and a very Einsteinian-looking Malcolm MacDowell. Right now I've got the film saved on the DVR but it's definitely one for the collection.

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