Review: Exodus: Gods & Kings

Posted: December 14, 2014 in Review
Tags: , , , , , , ,

My friend and I (and the friend we ran into at the theater who joined us for the show) didn’t go into this movie with many expectations. We were trying to keep an open mind, trying not to form an opinion about a Biblical movie that apparently deviated a lot from the source material.

Well, I can’t speak for my friends with any sort of authority. But I can say that I was disappointed. And not because I thought it would’ve been better to have had Middle Eastern or black actors in the main roles rather than white people (I mean it is in Egypt). Or why a guy named Christian is playing Moses (so much irony in that).

I think what Ridley Scott was trying to do with this film was to tell the story of Moses as a very human story, of a man troubled by his decisions, his role as a leader, and possible brain damage or psychosis. I think those who go for the human story of Moses will like this movie. I however was still kind of hoping for the Exodus story, so I was kind of disappointed. And I don’t think they told the human story very well either.

Plus Ramses II’s motivation to exile Moses and try to take him down seemed a little weak. Didn’t help that Joel Edgerton, who plays Ramses, was pretty unconvincing as an actor. And sometimes the dialogue made us nearly burst out laughing because it was so awful. And why at the beginning do they have screen titles that explains what’s happening in Egypt at the time? Literally everyone knows this story! You would’ve done better actually telling us the minor characters’ names more than once!

Plus the traditional fourth plague isn’t flies, it’s wild animals! Lions and tigers and bears! I know with the profusion of frog and fish corpses out there flies seem like a better choice, but animals seem much scarier and harder to explain through science! Can’t we see that for once?

Still, the special effects are pretty impressive, especially around the scenes with the Ten Plagues. The decision of how to portray Moses’s interactions with God is pretty original. Plus there is a little bit of theological wrestling that really exemplifies Moses’s problems in this movie. I have to admit that those were high points.

All in all, I’m giving Exodus: Gods & Kings a 2.3 out of 5. I don’t think that, among movies about Biblical events, this one won’t be remembered as a classic and will more likely be remembered as a movie that got the people who prefer their stories closer to the book in conniptions.

Well, that’s all for now. I’m going to try to see The Legend of Princess Kaguya and Babadook later this week, might do a review of the former and probably will do a review of the latter. Keep an eye out.

Good night, my Followers of Fear.

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Comments
  1. Hannah Polster says:

    Hey Rami,

    I’m planning on seeing the movie with my family over break. Bummed to hear you didn’t like it, but thanks for the heads up.

    Best,
    Hannah

    • Thanks Hannah. Don’t let my opinion cloud your judgment. Some people will like this movie and others won’t (whoever reviewed the movie for Entertainment Weekly certainly enjoyed the movie). It might just end up being your thing. There are certainly no serial killers in this film, so that should make it easier for you.

  2. TazOlip says:

    Found this on wikipedia:
    The fourth plague of Egypt was of animals capable of harming people and livestock. The Torah emphasizes that the ‘arob (עָרוֹב, meaning “mixture” or “swarm”) only came against the Egyptians, and that it did not affect the Land of Goshen (where the Israelites lived). Pharaoh asked Moses to remove this plague and promised to allow the Israelites’ freedom. However, after the plague was gone, the LORD “hardened Pharaoh’s heart”, and he refused to keep his promise.

    The word ‘arob has caused a difference of opinion among traditional interpreters. The root meaning may be related to “mixing”.[citation needed] While most traditional interpreters understand the plague as “wild animals”, Gesenius along with many modern interpreters understand the plague as a swarm of flies.

    So I guess it’s unclear whether it’s wild animals or flies, but Ridley Scott decided it was easier to make them flies lol

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