Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)

exodusgodsandkings_2014_poster
Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)
  • Time: 150 min
  • Genre: Action | Adventure | Drama
  • Director: Ridley Scott
  • Cast: Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Ben Kingsley, Aaron Paul, Sigourney Weaver, John Turturro

Storyline:

Epic adventure Exodus: Gods and Kings is the story of one man’s daring courage to take on the might of an empire. Using state of the art visual effects and 3D immersion, Scott brings new life to the story of the defiant leader Moses as he rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses, setting 600,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues.

9 reviews

  • This movie portrays many biblical inaccuracies. As a Christian, my husband and I thought we were going to see an inspirational Christmas movie only to be disappointed in how the movie was so far from the true Word of God, that we left saddened instead of inspired. The movie portrayed natural occurrences in the place of the supernatural. The movie featured God as a young boy who constantly argued and competed with Moses to see who best could get Pharaoh’s attention to free the Hebrews. Moses carried a sword instead of a staff and killed 4 men. There was no parting of the Red Sea of which Pharaoh survived the Red sea instead of drowning. Crocodiles were used to turn the water into blood. This was a scene similar to the movie “Jaws” in which the crocodiles were launching out of the water and biting men. The bloody water caused the frogs to leave the water, which then caused the flies to come once the frogs started to die on the land. One scene after another displayed the accounts in the bible so different than what we read in the Word of God that I pray that if you do not know the truth, find out for yourself and pick up the bible and read the truth instead of believing what you see in this movie. It is a false account and should not be taken seriously.

  • 2014 has not exactly been kind to bible adaptations. When anything from the bible is adapted to film (take Darren Aronovsky’s Noah for example) there is always going to be a cloud of controversy surrounding it with regards to accuracy and respect for the religion. With it’s recent ban from Egyptian cinemas, Ridley Scott’s Exodus: God’s and Kings is surrounded by such a cloud. With that said, I am not a devout Christian nor am I 100% knowledgeable in the Exodus text but as a film, how does Ridley Scott’s epic Egytian tale of despair, faith and a friendship’s collapse compare to other epics?

    The film starts with some basic text setting the scene for 400+ years of the slavery of Hebrews in Egypt then immediately jumps to a fairly unclear conversation between Moses (played by Christian Bale), Ramesses (played by Joel Edgerton) and his father the Pharaoh regarding the invasion of an army. This conversation also quickly brings up a prophecy that the saviour of Egypt’s leader will he himself become the leader. After Moses saves Ramesses during the following battle regarding said army, Ramesses considers killing Moses out of fear that he may take his place. This is unusual because Ramesses is not yet the ruler of Egypt in the story so it makes little sense.

    Exodus: God and Kings is full of below average dialogue and very poor character development, with no one in the starry supporting cast making that much of an effort at all. No one is making any effort with their accents, and there are a few too many different ones for one small group of Egyptians; Bale has his English/Welsh mixture, Edgerton has made the effort with his strange but well handled English accent. With Sigourney Weaver sticking to her American accent, the willingness to take it seriously does drop whenever she speaks. Some of more obvious attempts at comedic characters just come across as annoying and needless, with one guy having a half Scottish half English accent, speaking quickly at a relatively high pitch. This character is memorable only for his irritation factor.

    The supporting cast who should be oscar worthy are little more than pointless cameos; Weaver has little to no lines and you can tell she can not be bothered with any of it. Neither is Ben Kingsley, who seems to just be there to spout exposition when needed. Aaron Paul’s Joshua is rarely given any time in the film to shine, and he is given multiple potential plot threads regarding Moses which are all abandoned; this is a shame as Paul seems to be the only cast member besides Christian Bale that actually makes a real effort, and this is all told through his very subtle, well chosen facial expressions.

    While Scott’s direction and cinematography has certainly been worse, there doesn’t seem to be any substance to it. It comes across as more of an appetiser for the eye, but nothing more. Scenes that should be emotional high points are rushed immensely, with Moses’ meeting his forgettable love interest and then within 3 or 4 mins of film time has flown passed and they are getting married. Another plot thread regarding Moses’ mysterious family is addressed, given one tense-ish moment and then is not addressed for the rest of the film. There is so much dead weight left hanging in this movie that it is hard to find anything redeeming outside of Bale’s decent leading performance.

    The primary cause for a lot of the controversy is Scott’s addressing of races in this film. I would agree that it is far to reliant on Caucasian actors to fill the lead roles. The only one of these actors they make up to look Egyptian is Joel Edgerton’s Ramasses, who is course the villain. There are multiracial slaves as well, where the royals and lords are all Caucasian. This is a very touchy subject in today’s world and should have been handled a lot more subtly than Scott has done.

    If there are any redeeming qualities about this film, I can name two: The first and foremost positive is the depiction of the 7 plagues. These scenes are so visceral and terrible that you really do question why anyone would wish this upon anyone else. The visuals are horrific in the best possible way, with the plague’s highlight by the final horror; the murder of Egytian first-born sons. Those who have not protected their homes from the plague suffer through the only part of this movie where you find your heart in your throat. As the sun sets on the city, the use of audio is expertly done with the sound of the children’s breathing filling the cinema, however when the darkness of night touches them the sound fades away to nothing immediately. It is the ultimate nightmare and the plagues are certainly the standout scene.

    The other main positive is this film’s depiction of God, which I will not give away. It is unexpected, the actor playing this mighty role gives a unique, vengeful, unsettling yet ultimately memorable performance of the Creator.

    Overall this film was a big disappointment. The storytelling was poor, the acting from all (minus a few) was either overdone to the point of bad comedy or unconvincing to the point of groaning. Plot-points that had potential were either abandoned or rushed, with crumby dialogue to guide it. Some blatantly impossible physical acts can be survived in cinema but an incident during the infamous ‘parting of the red sea’ scene between Ramesses and Moses is literally impossible, and no amount of religious faith would get you through it, yet they both brush it aside somehow and this was a serious irritation. Scott’s direction was average and the only saving graces were the plagues which would convince any Pharaoh to release his people, and a portrayal of God that truly convinces you that the Creator is capable of such horrific acts. Overall as a bible adaptation and just as a film, I would definitely not recommend.

    3.5/10

  • Ridley Scott’s take on the story of Moses is suitably epic and it would be hard to compare it to his last two movies. But if we go back and look at other historical epics he’s done, Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven, we know there’s precedent for him to be better.

    Exodus tells the story of Moses (Christian Bale) and how he gathered the Hebrews to escape the Egyptians. We see his exile from Egypt by the Pharaoh Ramesses II (Joel Edgerton), the plagues of Egypt and the crossing of the Red Sea. Depending on your background, this is probably a familiar tale and will be easy to follow, even guess what is going to happen next.

    As stated above, Scott is fairly adept at making an epic film and this movie certainly does tick all the boxes. While it doesn’t necessarily push the envelope in the storytelling department, it makes up for it with some amazing visuals and action set pieces.

    Read the full review here

  • Exodus: Gods and Kings 3/10- Directed by critically-acclaimed director Ridley Scott, who has been known to make some pretty epic movies(Gladiator, Prometheus…), Exodus: Gods and Kings looks epic in spectrum of the film. Great director, great actors, and a seemingly great story of Moses. The trailer portrays the film as a non-stop thriller with not a single boring second allowed. The trailer is the definition of misleading. Although there are some relatively epic moments in the movie, Exodus: Gods and Kings suffers from an over-written and boring script and even Batman cannot save this film.

    The trailer advertises the film highlighting the ten plagues as the main story line of the film. The plagues did look spectacular because no film has shown how the plagues would actually look. Everyone in the theater was in awe during this period….which lasted about ten minutes. The plagues that almost everyone in the theater probably came to see lasted for about ten minutes. Yes, there are also a few decent battle scenes, but those are also short and the rest of the film suffice to say, is boring. The person who adapted this film for the screen really did a poor job because with the exception of about twenty minutes, the entire film makes the audience fall asleep dreaming about seeing a Exodus film worthy of Christian Bale’s acting.

    I was still thankful Christian Bale was the lead role because without him, people would have literally walked out of the theater. He plays Moses down to a tee. He doesn’t play the nice, gentle savior who freed hundreds of thousands of slaves. He plays the firm, decently-minded leader who does the best job he can trying to free 600,000 slaves.

    For full review and more, http://reviewsbywest.com/exodus-gods-and-kings.html

  • idley Scott is one of the most accomplished directors in Hollywood but recently his career has been experiencing a steady downfall. His last four or five films have not been particularly good. His last film, The Counselor was perhaps his worst this is quite surprising considering he’s the same guy who made Blade Runner, Alien and Gladiator. Exodus is a biblical epic that tells the story of Moses, how he rose up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses and how he lead 600,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt while encountering a terrifying cycle of deadly plagues.

    Directed by: Ridley Scott with a screen-play from Adam Cooper, Bill Collage, Steve Zaillian and Jeffrey Caine and starring: Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Aaron Paul, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley, Exodus: Gods and Kings is a dull and extremely bad movie that fails to succeed at just about anything. The film lacks direction and relies too heavily on visual effects. It feels like Ridley saw this movie only as a paycheck. Christian Bale’s performance as Moses is not that bad but Joel Edgerton who looks a lot like Marlon Brando’s Colonel Kurtz feels miscast and gives an overall weak performance as the main antagonist. Perhaps, one of the biggest problems is that it wastes it’s star-studded cast. John Turturro, Signourey Weaver, Ben Kingsley and Aaron Paul are given minimal screen-time, Aaron Paul in particular who is known to most people for his role as Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad is completely wasted here.

    The film has already been controversial for casting white actors instead of Middle-Eastern actors but that in my opinion is the least of the film’s problems. The screen-play credited to four people is a complete mess that neglects to properly develop characters other than Moses. The pacing of the movie is extremely uneven and inconsistent. The latter part of the film is all CGI but by this time you’re so bored that even the visuals don’t have much effect on making this movie interesting. In the end I was left with the impression that Ridley Scott is more interested in showing visual effects than telling a good meaningful story.

    In conclusion, Exodus: Gods and Kings is a boring and bad film that ranks as one of Ridley Scott’s worst directorial efforts. The film suffers from a poorly written screen-play, an over-reliance on CGI and the lack of a compelling story. The movie is an overall disappointment considering all the talent that is involved and is one of the worst movies of 2014.

    Final Score: 3.0/10

    -Khalid Rafi

    More Movie Reviews at: filmfanaticmovieblog.wordpress.com

  • Tony Barton

    Its 1300 BCE and Moses,(Christian Bale) a member of the royal family is preparing along with Prince Ramesses,(Joel Egerton) to go to war with the Hittite Army. Ramesses’s Father, Seti, (John Turturro) tells them both of a prophecy in which it’s said that one of them is destined to save the life of the other and become leader.

    The prophecy seems to come true, as Moses ends up saving Ramesses from certain death on the battlefield, leaving them both somewhat troubled. Moses goes to the city of Pithom and meets Hegep, (Ben Mendelsohn) who is over all the Hebrew slaves and finds himself disgusted by the conditions they’re living in. Whilst there, he is told of his Hebrew parents and learns how he was sent as a child ,by his sister Miriam, (Tara Fitzgerald) to be raised by the Pharaoh’s daughter. Two Hebrew’s had been eaves dropping outside and rush to inform Hegep of their discovery.

    Shortly after Moses returns to Memphis, Seti dies and Ramesses takes his place as the new Pharaoh. Hegep arrives in Memphis and reveals Moses’s true identity to Ramesses, who finds it difficult to accept. However, Ramesses questions the servant girl Miriam and threatens to cut off her arm, if she lies about Moses’s past. On hearing this, Moses jumps to her defence and admits that everything is true, which fills Queen Tuya, (Sigourney Weaver) with rage. Ramesses, decides to banish Moses, which doesn’t please Queen Tuya, who wants him executed. Moses prepares to leave Egypt and meets his natural mother and sister Miriam, who refer to him as Moishe, his real name.

    His journey through the desert brings him to Midan, where he is befriended by Zipporah, (Maria Valverde) and her Father, Jethro, (Kevork Malikyan). Moses, who is now a shepherd marries Zipporah and together, have a son named Gersham, (Hal Hewetson). Nine years pass and Moses lies injured in the mud. However, he begins to discover that God has a plan for him as he is contacted by a young boy by the burning bush named Malak, (Isaak Andrews)……Gods messenger.

    The movie then moves through the numerous events that form the legend of Moses. Ridley Scott apparently said the original cut of Exodus: Gods and Kings, lasted for 4hrs, that being the case, 90min have been chopped before it’s release to cinemas. After watching Exodus, I couldn’t see where the 90min of footage would fit in to the mix. That being said, the movie does have it’s good points, with some impressive special and make up effects. The sets are enormous and lavishly constructed, with some of the halls and corridors seeming endless. I thought the movie had some reasonable performances, with Christian Bale giving it a good go as Moses, Maria Valverde: Zipporah, Tara Fitzgerald: Miriam are my pick. The Exodus: Gods and Kings is a reasonable account of the story of Moses…….Is it as good as The 10 Comandments?…..I’m afraid not.

  • Criticisms of casting Caucasians to play characters of Middle Eastern and North African descent aside, Exodus: Gods and Kings is bloated with a minefield of issues, including performances that are at warring wavelengths; a screenplay cobbled together by a quartet of screenwriters, half of whom have focused on prestige dramas whilst the other half concentrated on comedies; and a series of spectacles (the Ten Plagues, the parting of the Red Sea) that are spectacular but curiously underwhelming.

    Director Ridley Scott’s telling of Moses’ exile from his Egyptian home to carry out God’s will and fulfill his destiny as the liberator of the Israelites from 400 years of slavery seems straightforward enough. Moses (Christian Bale) and Ramses (Joel Edgerton) are brothers in spirit though not in blood. Their bond, already at risk by the Pharaoh’s (John Turturro) esteem of Moses over his own son Ramses, is tested when the high priestess prophesises that a battle shall occur wherein a leader shall be saved, and that saviour shall someday lead. Indeed, the prediction comes to fruition – Moses saves Ramses on the battlefield and Ramses wonders if he should get rid of this potential usurper of his throne.

    Click here for the complete review

  • “Follow me and you will be free. Stay and you will perish.”

    I have a feeling that the Catholic Church has done quite a bit of lobbying in Hollywood, after noticing that their fanbase started to dwindle. First there was the biblical story “Noah” with the famous boat builder who started constructing a huge ark, insisted by “The guy upstairs”, just so he and his family could withstand the announced tidal wave together with a pair of every animal species. And now they even convinced Ridley Scott to make a film of the incomparable epic story of Moses who guided his people through the desert to absolute freedom (It’s clear he hasn’t pointed out the right place, because they still haven’t found the right spot). Ultimately, this film won’t convert me (it didn’t appeal to me either), but I did expect great things from this pimped version of “The ten commandments” from 1956. In the end it was just a boring spectacle in which the whole bag of CGI tricks, special effects and contemporary modern camera technology was opened, to ensure a stunning visual show. I couldn’t find any added value compared with the original film from 1956. Indeed, it was dead boring and disappointing with some non-impressive performances in comparison with those from “The Ten Commandments”.

    Writing a spoiler-free review for a film like “Exodus” isn’t really difficult, because most of us know the initial story. In contrast to the story in the Bible with everything miraculous, wondrous and divine described, this film looks at it from a scientific perspective. There’s a meaningful explanation for every Egyptian plague. Even the highlight with the Red Sea didn’t look as if the hand of God was in play. As Scott announced it himself, the intention was to give all miracles a scientific twist. Similarly, the big trick with the Red Sea. A giant tsunami caused a drawback of the Red Sea. As a realist, I can live with this, and it’s a more plausible explanation for the course of events. As an avid movie lover, this was a rather disappointing choice. In my honest opinion this ruined the magic of the movie. To be honest, my high expectations about this scene made sure I persisted in looking further to this rather miserable-long film. I was expecting an impressive fragment (compared to that of the film of 1956) but was treated to an empty, muddy seabed (and judging by the immense noise of the flying birds, it was swarming with air gasping fish) which got flooded again by huge tidal waves. So it wasn’t an impressive moment with a sea opening itself. Waiting impatiently for this moment was just a waste of effort.

    The performances by Christian Bale (Moses) and Joel Edgerton (Ramses) were sometimes flatly embarrassing and totally unconvincing. Bale really wasn’t believable as the famous Moses. As would-be Egyptian, he looked youthful and virile in the beginning. Like Moses, he also looked like a virile person, but with a fake beard. Also, he wasn’t confident and he even dared to accuse God of going too far. Compare him with Charlton Heston. Now THAT was a real Moses : his stature, the impressive beard, that appearance and he was a perfect example what leadership is all about. Also Edgerton as the cruel ruler Ramses looked downright ridiculous. The moment he lays aside his dangerous sword, being part of “The Village People” wouldn’t be out of place with the thick applied mascara and his shiny bald head. Remember Yul Brynner ! Yes, he looked like a dangerous and cruel Egyptian pharaoh. For the supporting roles they recruited some big names like Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley, Aaron Paul and John Turturro. Obviously neither cost nor effort was spared and this served merely to give the whole spectacle a Hollywood status. The only one who didn’t disappoint me was Kingsley, although there is a little wear on the routine of facial expressions by him.

    Is there anything positive to report ? Yes of course. Visually it is a feast for the eyes: the whole decor, the costumes, Memphis and the surrounding slums were impressive on screen, the monuments and the ongoing labor, the mandatory large-scale battle scenes (I got that “The Lords of the ring” feeling again), the Egyptian plagues look slick and some images are real gems. The subtle interpretations of the biblical story, were surprising. Firstly, He-who-always-talks-with-a-reverberating-voice is represented by an irritating young boy who speaks with a British accent (Not an uninspired burning bush). He’s a real brat who gets terribly worked up when his demands aren’t met. I’m not a religious type and certainly no expert when it comes to the content of the Bible, but I’m pretty sure that while His Holiness let the 10 plagues rage over Egypt, he still was working on the 10 Commandments, because the rule “Thou shalt not kill” and the concept of “to love thy neighbour” wasn’t applied here. The term “turn the other cheek” apparently wasn’t customary either. He rather used the slogan “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” I guess. But that’s a subject for a theological debate. Furthermore, I think it’s wonderful that Moses had to chisel the 10 commandments into the stone tablets himself, instead of “The Big Chief” using some lightning.

    Yet I ask myself why Ridley Scott, still one of my favorite directors who produced a series of superb films (Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator, Hannibal, Black Hawk Down, Matchstick Men, Prometheus) at the age of 77 years has choosen this project. Maybe he wanted to come to terms with God! Conclusion: a visually successful film but substantively it’s as empty as the desert during a hot summer. The only thing they need to make is a soft erotic drama about Sodom and Gomorrah, a thriller about the fate of Lot and an adventurous movie about Samson and Delilah, and I think they would have covered the most thrilling parts of the Bible.

    PS. It’s certainly not my intention to offend those who believe. Who am I to judge if believing is a good or a bad thing. That would make me God, God forbid. But let me quote Ridley : “Religion is the source of all evil. Everyone is tearing each other apart in the name of their personal God”. Ultimately, this film will cause a fuss among the devout audience. For me it was simply a simple story.

    http://opinion-as-a-moviefreak.blogspot.be/2015/03/exodus-gods-and-kings-2014.html

  • There is a moment during the climax of Ridley Scott’s latest epic where your mind will drift to the image of a bearded Charlton Heston waving his giant staff and parting the Red Sea in Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments (1956). Exodus: Gods and Kings tells the story of Moses and Ramses, the familiar Old Testament tale about two former brothers-in-arms fighting on opposite sides of the battle; the former for the Hebrews, long enslaved by the ruling Egyptians, and the latter recently becoming the new Pharaoh in the wake of his father’s death. It’s the type of story that – even if the build-up lacks dramatics – is destined to be spectacular at the climax, as if there’s on thing we do well in the modern age, it’s spectacle.

    Yet Exodus is an alarmingly bland and stuttering attempt to paint a revisionist’s view of an age-old tale, resulting in a mixture of Ben-Hur (1959) and Gladiator (2000) without the scope or entertainment factor. Even Christian Bale, an actor usually of such ferocious intensity, fails to squeeze any dimensions out of Moses, and invites little sympathy during his darkest hours. Scott teases us with his own atheistic views, portraying Moses as a troubled man with possible schizophrenia, an idea which, if fully developed, would have justified this film’s existence as a revisionist piece. His personality disorder manifests itself as a mediocre British child actor playing an angry God while Moses skulks on a mountain top, but outside of these moments he is little more than the archetypal command-blaring, sword-waving hero who delivers speeches and observes his men during training montages.

    The only one appearing to be having any fun at all is Joel Edgerton, the Aussie actor playing the shaven-headed, bronzed-up Egyptian Pharaoh. Though he is kept at a disappointing distance, he at least manages to bring a little swagger to his performance, regardless of how utterly ridiculous he looks. The bulk of the rest of the cast are also played by Anglo’s, all either frustratingly underused or comically miscast (or both). The likes of Sigourney Weaver, John Turturro, Ben Mendelsohn, and every director’s favourite go-to ethnic actor Ben Kingsley come and go, making little impact and offering no explanation as to why such familiar faces are required to fill such a role. Aaron Paul no doubt gets the worst deal. His Joshua gets the most screen time outside of Moses and Ramses but does little more than watch in confusion or awe at his leader, depending on how the script wants you to feel at that moment.

    As a cinematic spectacle, Scott does manage to occasionally enthral. The early battle scene, which has Moses and Ramses charging as comrades, plays like a check-list of war cliches, and you would find better sword-clanking on TV with Game of Thrones. The ten plagues set-piece is extremely CGI-heavy, but the sweeping shots of the city running red with blood and infested with locusts and disease proves to be a beautiful sight, with Scott determined to offer a rational explanation to the events rather than it being the work of a vengeful God (though the jury is still out with the first-born deaths). This idea wouldn’t be such a hindrance if Scott didn’t make the rest of the film such a formulaic blockbuster and took the time to go deep into the psyche of Moses and his struggles with his belief in a God he sees as barbaric. But Exodus is neither revisionist piece nor a straight-forward Biblical epic, which is why I found myself longing for the simplicity of DeMille’s vision, for at least you know where you stand.

    Rating: 2/5

Write your review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *