(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
Exodus: Gods and Kings is a little more Biblically accurate than Noah, but not by much, the movie had some great visual effects and action, but as a movie, the acting and dialogue, and script was just subpar. Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars.
I remember when the movie Noah came out earlier this year, and how excited I was in seeing a story from the Bible come to life with big name actors. Even though it had some red flags about this movie being Biblical, because the director is an atheist, but it just gave me an open mind coming into this movie. I invited a lot of my church friends and thought it was going to be an enjoyable experience. Boy, was I wrong. Not only that they butchered the story of Noah, but it didn’t capture any of the essence of Noah as a figure and any spiritual meaning. To me it was a travesty. Now in the same year another Biblical story with big name actors, the story of Moses leading the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt. I also approached this with an open mind, but a critical mind as well, and kept some faith that it won’t be another Noah. I was hoping for a The Ten Commandments or The Prince of Egypt, two movies not 100% Biblical, but close to the source and entertaining. Indeed, Hollywood created another travesty but for different reasons which I will explain. Start with what I liked, to the so so, to what I didn’t like.
What I like, I did enjoy the action and special effects this movie brought. Like the battle scene in the beginning of the movie where Moses, played by Christian Bale, and Ramses, played by Joel Edgerton linked together to fight against the Hittites. It was pretty epic seeing people on chariots slicing and dicing people, horses jumping over battle lines, and pieces of chariots flying all over the place. It was a good battle scene that made me enjoy the beginning of this movie. The scene with the ten plagues were awesome special effects. Seeing crocodiles attacking boats, frogs annoying people, and locusts coming in by the thousands eating all the crops. I like how the last plague of the deaths of the first born was executed in this movie seeing these children taking their last breathe. It was horrifying to watch even though I knew it would happen. Director Ridley Scott really created some nice scenes on how the empire of Egypt looked like back in the day and why it was a great empire. Seeing the pyramids and statues being built by the Hebrew slaves was interesting to see.
The so so, for both Bale and Edgerton playing Moses and Ramses, their acting to me really started of slow and subpar for me, but as the movie progressed it got a lot better. Honestly I really didn’t see too much chemistry between them at the beginning where they suppose to be brothers, but almost acted like they resent each other. Of course later in the story, they did in fact resent each other. The movie didn’t really developed the characters well, but if you know the story well like I do, that aspect doesn’t really bother me.
What I didn’t like, let’s start off as the movie itself. I thought the acting was completely subpar for this movie. These Egyptions couldn’t sound more American. John Tuturro played Pharoah Seti, and he pretty much acted like himself. I wanted to see a Pharoah not Turturro. For that, I would see the original Transformers trilogy again. You also had Aaron Paul playing Joshua, and all he was really good for is his Jesse Pinkman stares and looks. Ben Kingsley and Sigourney Weaver played very minor roles as Nun and Tuya. It was so minor that I forgot about them. Wasted toles for talented actors if you ask me. I didn’t see any good chemistry between anybody, and the dialogue of this movie was just plain awful. One scene in particular is when Moses and Zipporah, played by Maria Valverde, were about to consummate their marriage, and they recite what seemed like a wedding vow, and then she says, “Proceed,” and I’m here just laughing, and shaking my head. Another line is where they asked Moses, “Where you going?” Moses replied, “To the West.” Then they ask, “Where you coming from.” To which Moses replied, “From the East.” A lot of dumb dialogue in this movie. The story of this movie at the beginning seemed rushed, until Moses comes back to Egypt to save the Hebrew slaves. This movie portrayal of God was in form of a young kid, played by Issac Andrews, which I didn’t really like. Why does God have to be a young kid to talk to Moses? To me it was kind of dumb, especially how he wasn’t specific in giving Moses details to what to do, making other people believe that Moses was crazy. There were scenes where Moses was talking to this kid while Joshua was looking on and to his eye, Moses was talking to himself. Almost like he was schizophrenic, which kind of rubbed me the wrong way as well. Unlike the movie Noah where I thought they really butchered that story for the worse, this movie wasn’t as butchered but it was pretty bad as well. It seemed like the writers and Ridley Scott, who is an atheist, wanted to show that there can be a logical explanation than miracles happening from God which rubbed me the wrong way as well. For example, the first plague where the water turned into blood is explained by a recent attacks by crocodiles to humans and other crocodiles that made the water red with blood. Also the whole parting of the Red Sea where the Hebrews walked through, wasn’t an instant miracle, but a chance where the tide was really low enough for them to walk through. I mean, is it that hard to accept miracles from God, or you have to scientifically explain everything and undermine God’s true power. One thing that really wasn’t Biblical as well is that Moses didn’t write the Ten Commandments, but God wrote it with his finger. Lastly, what really behooves me is how the heck did Ramsey survived that huge Red Sea wave. All I can do is shake my head, and stay true in what I believe in.
Overall, Biblically speaking, it wasn’t as butchered as the Noah movie, but as a movie it was very subpar with good special effects. At least Noah was better put together and written as a movie. I guess The Ten Commandments remain the best Biblical movie in my book, but I can honestly say is that the Book will always be better. Final Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars.
(Sidenote: A Most Wanted Man- A movie based on the book by the same name written by John le Carre. It stars Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Gunthar Bachmann, a German espionage agent who is stationed in Hamburg, Germany trying to catch future terrorists. He is trying to find Issa Karpov, played by Grigoriy Dobrigyn, who is a son of a known terrorist and illegally immigrated from Chechnya to Germany. Gunthar is trying to use him to get to the bigger terrorist and prove that a cargo ship company is a business for terrorists funded by other companies. With the help of an immigration lawyer named Annabel Richter, played by Rachel McAdams, and a banker named Tommy Brue, played by Willem Defoe, a person who laundered money for Issa’s father, they go and try to use Issa to try to catch the big terrorists. Unfortunately, this movie was dragged on, and kind of boring for a spy thriller. It did have that nice twist in the end where Gunther get screwed over by the CIA as they capture the criminals before he does, much to his dismay. Final Rating 2.5 out of 5 Stars.)
With that said, I want to dedicate this blog to the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman, since this is the last full movie with him starring. He was a tremendous actor playing great roles like in Mission Impossible III, Moneyball, The Hunger Games series, but most of all, his Oscar winning role as Trueman Capote in Capote. I always liked his style of acting with his rough rugged voice and always takes control of a scene that he is in. We lost a great actor and may he RIP!!!