Reviewed by yours truly,
The V lad.
Ladies, gentlemen, and other such creatures, today we look at the EPIC fail that is Exodus: Gods and Kings. Like most things Ridley Scott, it’s grand, massive, and epic. Thus, its failure is of equal proportions.
For those of you who aren’t familiar, this movie’s the story of Moses (Christian Bale) liberating the Jews from Egypt. While not a religious person myself, the movie’s trailer struck me as engaging. It looked like a different take on a very old story, and the promise of Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton (playing Ramses) bouncing off one another really peaked my interest.
What the trailer didn’t show, however, is a myriad of pointless scenes which drag and drag in place of any character development or captivating drama. Any engaging scenes which Bale and Edgerton might have had together were replaced by several small plot lines with very little importance or consequence. None of the characters (save perhaps for Moses) are developed throughout this movie. Things happen, and you are supposed to be into it. You’re supposed to buy into every bit of drama on sheer face value.
You have one or two scenes where you see the Jews getting whipped, therefore you should care deeply about them. You see two quick scenes with Bale exchanging eyes with his love interest, Zipporah (Maria Valverde), and two minutes later they are married, and suddenly I have to care about his relationship with his family. We see Ramses throw a few tantrums, and suddenly I have to find him unappealing. All in all, very weak development and writing.
In between that, we get about 20 minutes of CGI porn, where you just watch God destroy stuff. And while each of the scenes is done quite well, twenty minutes is a bit much. Then again, it could have been worse, they could have filled it with more bad writing. Perhaps I shouldn’t complain.
It’s sad to see that the person who brought us Gladiator, Aliens, Bladerunner, Hannibal, and American Gangster made something so appallingly poor. I recognize that I’m not religious and that this is a religious movie. However, I think that anyone who has faith would probably not like this movie, either. You don’t really follow Moses’ path to spirituality and the discovery of God. Nor does it really focus on the hardships and struggles of the Jews, and their relationship with God. Instead, Ridley Scott seems to be caught with his pants down between the two paths a film maker could have gone with this film. Either you do what Ridley Scott does best, and you focus on epic medieval warfare with little plot involved, or you make this a religious themed drama. What you don’t do is try and do both, and leave the audience with a bad taste in their mouth.
I can’t believe that such a cast and such a director produced such a turd, but here we are. All in all, a very bad film, and a shitty watching experience. At least with Robin Hood you could turn your brain off to the horrendous writing and be mildly sedated by the violence. In this film, you’re going to be bored for two hours and constantly guessing (and hoping) which scene will be the last.