Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014) – Mini Review

exodus

I’m in holiday mode at the moment so it’s only a mini review for Ridley Scott’s latest project Exodus: Gods and Kings.  This is the latest retelling of the story of Moses and leading his people to the promised land (so to speak).  The film opens by focusing on the relationship between Moses and Ramses played by Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton respectively who were raised as brothers.  Ramses is troubled by the close relationship that Moses has with his father, the Pharaoh, and when questions are raised about Moses background he is vanquished and finds himself in conflict with his former friend.

There’s no getting away from the fact that this film feels like a biblical Gladiator.  A leader with more faith in his favourite general than his own son creates resentment in said son, who when daddy is out of the way takes his revenge only for it this to come back and bite him on the bum.  I found the first act of the film engrossing as the relationship between Moses and Ramses played out as a high stakes game of politics.  I lost interest in the second act as the plagues are visited on the Egyptians.  While the CGI is impressive the narrative stalls and there is a lot of Moses looking on as the scenes unfold.  As the Hebrews are cast out of Egypt and chased down by Ramses my interest was piqued again but the whole thing becomes descriptive like a documentary as opposed to a dramatic film.

The way God is portrayed in this film is a little odd.  “He” comes across as a petulant, emotional, vengeful adolescent which is an impression made all the stronger by the fact “he” is represented as a child on screen.  The way in which time is managed during the film is a little odd with a few sections of compressed stories leading into a big jump onto the future.

This isn’t a bad film as some reviews might have you believe but it makes you feel every one of the 2 hours 20 minutes it takes to tell you the story.  I liked the start, the acting is of a high quality, but it failed to deliver anything original.  I’m starting to lose the faith Mr Scott.

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