Jake and Elwood Blues claimed to be on a mission from God, but Eli, the rugged road warrior whose destiny lies somewhere west of the Mississippi, really believes it. With the Lord as his shepherd and a King James Bible stashed next to his machete, Eli wanders America’s post-apocalyptic wasteland of the not-too-distant future with a singular purpose: spreading the good word.
It’s easier said than done. “Stay on the path,” Eli (Denzel Washington) mutters as he surveys the skeletal remains of a once-bustling nation, willing himself onward in a lonely journey made treacherous with pitfalls. Cannibals scour the countryside for easy prey, and, more ominously, there’s Carnegie, a power-hungry tyrant eager to make what’s left of the lower 48 his personal playground.
You might expect Denzel Washington to seem intimidating. At 55, he’s a two-time Oscar winner, the broad-shouldered star of Glory and Training Day, an actor who commands the screen with effortless authority. Despite his iconic stature, he can disappear into a role with ease, but at the end of the day he remains one of Hollywood’s most recognizable leading men. Introductions are unnecessary.
He offers one anyway. “Call me Eli,” he says, flashing the thousand-watt smile that inspired People to name him Sexiest Man Alive in 1996.
If Joseph Sargent’s original Taking of Pelham One Two Three seemed to capture the essence of New York at its mid-’70s nadir – overrun with crime and teetering on the verge of bankruptcy, its world-weary residents conditioned to expect the worst and hardly surprised when it happened – Tony Scott’s slick, competently staged remake is a warmed-over exercise in style.
Despite the movie’s early mixed reviews, the NFL is rolling out the red carpet for Denzel Washington’s latest thriller, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3.
Here in the Bay Area, San Francisco 49ers stars Alex Smith and All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis will be joined by Nnamdi Asomugha, Darrius Hayward-Bey and Michael Huff of the Oakland Raiders to host a special Wednesday night screening of the film at the Great Mall in Milpitas. The players will arrive to walk the carpet at 6:30 p.m., with the movie, a remake of Joseph Sargent’s 1974 subway heist, to follow.