‘Exodus Gods and Kings’ Review: Bland, longwinded and nearly God-free

How do you make a film based on the Biblical account of the Exodus with little to no explanation of God? Go endure 2 1/2 hours of Ridley Scott’s bland interpretation and you’d get a taste. Exodus: Gods and Kings is as blasphemous as Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, but beginning with the 1300 BCE date to God speaking angrily through a child actor to really bad and distracting make-up, Scott’s “blockbuster” is blasphemous by Hollywood standards.

Christian Bale as Moses in Exodus Gods and KingsThe traditional story of Moses (Christian Bale) becoming the savior of the Hebrews, becoming the messenger of God and leading the nation out of Egypt’s bondage comes to life with big Hollywood effects. Joel Edgerton is Ramses and Scott spends more screen time than expected on making him “just” as the dictator and not much exposition on Moses’ transformation into God’s “General.”

There’s a ton of Biblical inaccuracies (e.g. Moses time in exile, the number of sons, who raises him), but most noticably absent is Moses’ pleading in between the plagues for the release of the Jews. Scott uses a montage to create the series of plagues (croc attacks making the Nile full of blood, the frogs escaping etc…) and sells short God’s atempt to be merciful. Instead, God is bent on anger and vengeance, very contradictory to scripture.

God tells Moses to remove his shoes to stand on “Holy ground,” but Scott child actor speaks with Bale’s Moses freely, openly and without any demands of reverance. God is presented “too human life” and Moses’ faith is relogated to a back story.

The Passover is presented but never explained. God is neither credited with saving the Jewish first born and not glorified in the parting of the Red Sea. There spectacular visuals were mediocre at best. Chariots falling off the side of a cliff was perhaps the most impressive scene in the film.

Christians may freak out over the long list of errors and creative liberties from scripture (e.g. the number of Jews is mentioned at 400,000 while there is over 600.000 men in the army listed in Numbers and that doesn’t include their families), but the real crime is minimalizing Moses.

Moses is a forebearer to Christ and is relogated to a man refusing to set aside his fleshly skills as a warrior while debating with God. This, to me, is what is truly lost:

“Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” – Jesus Christ (John 5:45–47)

If you rely on Scott’s Moses, you just don’t really care that much.

The allegations of racism (converting white actors to play Middle Eastern characters) was not really an issue, but it looked foolish and distracting at times. A blue-eyes actor who glistens was hardly believable as an Egyptian. Of course, Moses never shaved his head or look like a member of Pharoh’s court, yet everyone seemed shocked at the news he was Jewish. It wasn’t racism as much as it was just poor decisions.

Exodus was void of any major acting moments. It’s a little hard to criticize the cast when you never give them a chance to excel. Bale was just another action star in a Gladiator knock-off and Edgerton did the best he could with his scenes. Even Ben Kingsley was denied a chance at a big epic speech or some Oscar-worthy moment.

Exodus: Gods and Kings receives 2 out of 5 stars.

Exodus-Gods-and-Kings-Poster-Christian Bale-and-Joel Edgerton

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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