Eli's book is the bible. Literally, The Bible, the last one in existence in a post-apocalyptic America. Eli, played perfectly by Denzel Washington, heard a voice telling him to find the bible and take it to safety. He's been walking for 31 years.
In desert California, Eli meets a warlord that wants the book. Much bloodshed later, the movie meets a satisfying ending. Along the way, Eli picks up a teenage sidekick played by Mila Kunis, who more than holds her own sharing screen time with one of the greatest actors of all time.
I am not a religious person and I typically avoid entertainment products that might preach or proselytize, so I was reluctant to see The Book of Eli, but it wasn't a problem. Eli is a big believer, no doubt, but religious aspect is secondary to the story. Is Eli invincible or has he honed great reflexes by surviving three decades alone? Is he bullet-proof or is post-apocalyptic ammunition prone to misfires? You can decide for yourself. All that matters is that Eli believes in his mission and lets nothing get in his way.
As an end-note, I will say that I've pretty much had my fill of post-apocalyptic movies. By definition, they say that bad things are headed our way. I don't mind the explicit negativity of the stories but they all tend to look the same. The sun is always too light or too dark, the people are all unwashed, the clothes are all thrift-store grunge. If a movie is going to go there, it had better be good, like The Book of Eli.
1:48; two viewings