Exodus : Gods and Kings (2014)
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
Genre : Action/Adventure/Drama
Country : USA/UK
Christian Bale : Moses
Joel Edgerton : Ramses
Aaron Paul : Joshua
Director : Ridley Scott
“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“.
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. As 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.
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“) why he has choosen this project at the age of 77. 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.