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Exodus: Gods And Kings—Movie Review

Christian Bale-Exodus Gods and KingsIt isn’t easy tackling a famous Biblical story and competing with the memory of an
enduring movie like Cecil B. DeMille’s The
Ten Commandments
. All things considered, I think director Ridley Scott and his colleagues have done a creditable job. (Remember, he took on DeMille’s The Crusades with his formidably
ambitious Kingdom of Heaven.) Exodus: Gods and Kings has many flaws
but also real virtues, chief among them Christian Bale’s deeply-felt
performance as Moses. The production values and locations add a great deal. But
how you respond to the film overall will depend on your willingness to accept new,
challenging, and in some cases nutty ideas.

The screenplay (credited to Adam Cooper & Bill Collage,
Jeffrey Caine and Steven Zaillian) is at its best when it expresses Moses’
humanity, so well interpreted by Bale, who approaches the character with a
lightness of touch. He can never forget, or escape, the fact that he has been
raised as an Egyptian, nor can he easily break the bond he shares with his
adoptive brother Ramses, well played by Joel Edgerton.

Moses’ odyssey is long and hard; it is as if he lived
several lifetimes, inhabiting different identities along the way. His
self-doubt and resistance to following his apparent destiny makes for great
drama… yet when he finally faces his Creator, God comes to him in the form of a
sulking, British-accented boy. It’s different, I’ll grant you, but I had a
difficult time with this conceit—and it didn’t get any easier after the initial
shock wore off.

Not being a Biblical scholar I can’t comment on other
liberties taken in the script; let’s just say that some passages are digested
more easily than others.

Exodus Gods and Kinds Joel Edgerton

As for the coming of the plagues, if you’ve always had a
hankering to see a graphic depiction of the damage lice and boils can inflict,
you’re in luck. Scott has spared nothing in depicting all the horrors visited
on the Egyptian people, something that DeMille chose to show in more discreet
terms.

The final exodus from Egypt and race across the Red Sea is
also told in an entirely new and different way that has already aroused
controversy. My feeling is that Ridley Scott knew he had to top the 1956 epic
and offer a scene that would impress a new generation of moviegoers who have
grown up in the era of CGI. I’d say he delivers, if not in the way many people
expect. The movie’s climactic
scene is truly overwhelming.

Exodus: Gods and Kings
is an imperfect movie, to be sure, but I found much of it compelling and many
of its ideas intriguing. Will it join the ranks of great Biblical films or just be a footnote in the years to come? We’ll have to wait and see.        

8 comments

  1. Old School BD says:

    Just saw the movie… while I’ll admit I’m no bible expert either, I found this movie mostly form without content. I was bored at some points. However, admittedly while not a huge fan of biblical movies, I am always amazed how these epics seem to pull the most unbalanced of athiests out from the woodwork.

  2. Paul Maresca says:

    Exodus literally put me to sleep…I disagree with Mr. Maltin’s praise of both the casting and performances of the leads..I like biblical offerings but was pretty much disappointed here

  3. Jerry says:

    I saw the film yesterday and liked it a lot. I agree with Leonard it’s a different spin on an old tale.

  4. Yahweh says:

    Christian Bale is correct. Moses is schizophrenic. He talks to a burning bush. Thanks to the awesome work of Dr. James Harris of Bringham Young University, it is now 100% confirmed that YHWH ("Yahweh") is a snäke god. Actually, YHWH is a snäke god (Ea or Yah) and a tree goddess (Hawah or Asherah). They are Arabian fertility gods.

    YHWH is the snäke of the Tree of Life or snäke-pole or caduceus. This is the rod of Moses and the brass idol he asked Hebrews to worship. Their symbol is the yin-yang Menorah. The base of the menorah is a snäke head and forked tongue. The tree branches are Asherah’s hot "bush," tongued by Yah. This has been confirmed through inscriptions in the Negev desert and pottery during Moses’ time. The fëllatio symbol or menorah is YHWH through proto-Canaanite or Old Negev script.

    Yah is also a barbäric snäke since he has sëx with his mother, half-sister, daughter, granddaughter and great granddaughter, just as Abraham has sëx with his half-sister Sarah. Abraham’s nephew Lot also has sëx with his daughters but the Bible considers him to be righteous. Abraham also has sëx with his maid Hagar, just like Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, so everyone remembers him as Conan the Barbärian. Moses also saved 32,000 virg|n girls as plunder for the Hebrews after ki||ing thousands of their men.

    Read the following website by copying the URL…tiny.cc/yahweh

  5. Msloulou says:

    i’m so excited -I can’t wait to see this movie. I appreciate
    all your reviews Mr. Maltin.
    You are awesome…

  6. C138 says:

    God forbid that people have differing opinions from the general consensus. It’s not like he called it the best film of the year or anything.

  7. Joe Shit says:

    Ridley Scott and his colleagues have done a creditable job, right? But not a credible job since all of the story line is pure nonsense. The bible is bullshit and so is this movie.

  8. Jeffrey says:

    Of all the films this year Mr. Maltin could have chosen to give the benefit of the doubt, he picked this one?

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