Denzel Washington has been working almost exclusively with well-established directors for about a decade now — he’s made some pretty good movies, but everything he makes falls squarely on the safe side. Denzel doesn’t take a lot of risks, or really stretch himself as an actor very much (with the exception of Training Day, which is one of his very best performances). I’d still like to see Denzel go batshit evil — I think he’s got a solid superhero villain in him. But at least, with Book of Eli, he’s stepping into somewhat unfamiliar territory — a dystopian future — with directors who are not particularly well know (The Hughes Brothers).
The Hughes Brothers, in fact, have been missing for so long now, I’d nearly forgotten about them. They made Menace II Society before directing two largely underappreciated gems: Dead Presidents and From Hell, the latter of which was one of the first graphic novels I remember being adapted to the big screen.
Nine years later, they’re back with Book of Eli, about a man (Washington) who has been walking across a post-apocalyptic America for 30 years to protect a book that holds the secrets to saving mankind.
The trailer, sadly, looks like a generic post-apocalyptic film, but I expect the full-length movie may have more to offer. I mean: There are chainsaw fights.
Mila Kunis and Gary Oldman also star. It opens on January 10, 2010.