#REVIEW: “EXODUS: GOD AND KINGS”
Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
Don’t get us wrong, Ridley Scott’s latest Film Exodus: Gods and Kings is by no means remarkable, but perhaps it is one of the more tolerable biblical Pictures offered to Moviegoers in the past while. The story of Moses is well-known, hence the challenges certainly are there and the room for taking liberties really is sparse. Even a team of four Screenwriters including Steve Zaillian (Schindler’s List, American Gangster) struggle to adapt the Story for a modern Audience, often pardon the biblical pun, plagued in pacing.
The story of Exodus: Gods and Kings is about two Brethren Ramses (Joel Edgerton) and Moses (Christian Bale) who are in some of the highest positions of power in Egypt. However, when Ramses’ Father dies, tensions grow as he hears word of Moses being an Hebrew. He starts to question Moses and his Sister, until a breaking point where Moses has no other choice to reveal that he is in fact an Hebrew. He is then sent off to exile for his treason and left for dead; well this is until he finds his way and moreover God. Moses is then spoken to by God to return to Egypt and find out what Ramses has done to his people and fight for their freedom.
When it comes to Biblical Adaptations, it is in the best interest to follow some passages. In Exodus: Gods and Kings, we cannot help but feel that not enough weight is given to some of the most significant pieces in Moses’ Story, including the parting of the Red Sea and the most famous words he ever spoke, “Let my People go!”. Alas, some minimal focus (though not nearly enough) is given to the Burning Bush and as a result the Film feels incomplete and uneven as a vast majority of the focus is placed on Moses’ process and journey.
Joel Edgerton who normally is phenomenal, struggles with what should be a commanding and powerful Ramses – his occasional odd chuckle becomes off-putting and overall this will be a performance among his repertoire that might be forgotten with a lack of that presence and passion for which we had hoped. However, Christian Bale shines as Moses. There were times when his performance shines – which is a daunting task when playing a Character so revered. Also, Ben Kingsley and Sigourney Weaver as Nun and Tuya respectively sinfully are under-utilized.
Ridley Scott despite being a Helmer of fantastic Films, is off-the-mark in Exodus: Of Gods and Kings, although certainly it gets merit for being a visual feast. The Visual Effects blended seamlessly with the grim and lifelike Set Design making the two and a half hours required for the Audience significantly more tolerable; every shot was beautiful.
20th Century Fox release EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS on Friday, December 12, 2014.