Exodus: Gods and Kings

exodus gods and kings 2.jpg
UK Release Date 26th December 2014
Director Ridley Scott
Starring Christian Bale
Runtime 150 Minutes
Certificate 12A
Reviewer Jo
Reviewed 17th December 2014

Exodus, all right! Movement of Jah people! So sang the legendary Bob Marley. Considering the bizarre references in Ridley Scott’s strange and underwhelming biblical ‘epic’ Exodus: Gods and Kings, I wouldn’t have been surprised to hear it playing over the end credits.   

Now if you follow us here at Broken Shark you will know that we are not the most devoutly religious pair, quite the opposite and so admittedly a biblical story isn’t really my idea of a fun night out but a good story is a good story. Exodus however is not a good story. And it’s Ridley Scott. RIDLEY SCOTT. The man who gave us AlienThelma and Louise.  Bladerunner. Sadly though this lends itself more to Ridley Scott – the man who gave us Prometheus and The Counsellor. It’s disappointing and it pains me to say this about a filmmaker that has achieved such impressive heights but it’s just really not very good.  

I was informed in a hoity toity fashion that most people know the story of Moses and Ramses. Well I don’t. I know some stuff about the plague and all that but I was fairly lost for the first twenty minutes or so until it just felt a bit like Gladiator and I just went with it. Moses (Bale) is like a brother to Ramses (Edgerton). He has a dream one night that whoever saves young Ramses from death; their first-born will become king. Well, you know those Egyptian folk; they were predicting the future with bird innards so a dream can go a long way. Perhaps ol’ Moses should have kept it to himself, doesn’t he know no one ever wants to hear a dream story, it’s really dull to everyone except the dreamer. Anyway lo and behold Moses saves Ramses' neck in an ‘epic’ battle scene. The seed is planted. Then Ramses discovers Moses is actually Hebrew (bad day for Moses) and Moses is cast out from Egyptian society whilst Ramses runs it into the ground. So far so Gladiator, but then Moses starts speaking to God and trying to help free what are now ‘his people’. Then all that stuff with the plagues and parting of the seven seas happens.  

It’s a strange decision on Scott’s part to cast an 11-year-old boy as God instead of having the traditional burning bush. It’s even more of a strange choice to choose one so wooden. The scenes with Moses and ‘God’ are bizarre, stilted and weird. Some of the CGI for the plague etc. is effective and the film is stirring at times but it isn’t nearly grand or exciting enough and the script is really quite horrible. This film heavily underlines the belief we have here at BS Towers that 3D is generally useless. For a film of enormous cost it looks cheap and underwhelming. The parting of the seven seas surely these days can be somewhere to overwhelm with spectacle, however it just falls flat and lacks any engaging emotion. Disappointing. With a capital D. 

Much has been made in the press about Scott not using actors of African descent to populate Exodus but to be honest I think they may have dodged a bullet. It is most definitely strange seeing the really quite wonderful Edgerton like a bald blue-eyed drag queen playing the spoilt Pharaoh. Bale just sounds like Bale when he is being ‘himself’ and Sigourney Weaver just does her own American accent. It’s a strange, strange biblical world. I find it almost despairing that the man who gave us some of the strongest female characters in cinematic history has made a film where the women just look mournful, waiting for their men to return so they can pleasure them and do their washing. Sob.  

On the way home I gave my 3D glasses to a crack head and they made him really happy. A happy ending after all. Now where’s my Bob Marley CD…..

Check out the trailer here.

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