Flash Movie Review: Exodus: Gods and Kings

Taken out from a religious context what does the phrase, “Let my people go,” bring to mind? For me it is Charlton Heston playing Moses in the film, The Ten Commandments. I was too young to understand everything about the movie, but several of its iconic scenes have been etched inside of my brain. It would be inconceivable to me to find someone who saw this film prior to the creation of current CGI effects, who was not struck with awe by the parting of the Red Sea. I can remember when we studied that time period in school; I would get confused when the lesson did not match what I remembered in the picture. There are just some films that remain with us for our entire life and this was one of them. So here was my dilemma: could I watch and review this dramatic adventure film without being biased.    SURPRISINGLY I was able to sit through most of the action scenes without thinking about Charlton or Yul Brynner. The main reason was due to the special effects; the scope and expanse of the scenes were nearly overwhelming for me. I sat in my seat with stunned surprise at the amount of people used and especially the vast visual depth to the scenes. On a visual basis this film was beautiful, even though the 3D effects did not do much for me. Christian Bale (American Hustle, The Fighter) was excellent playing Moses as was Joel Edgerton (Warrior, Zero Dark Thirty) who played Ramses. However, Joel must have realized the script was quickly tanking as he became more of a caricature as the movie progressed. Directed by Ridley Scott (Gladiator, American Gangster), this film was all surface with no substance. I was saddened on how quickly I became bored with the uneven script that at times would be wonderful then quickly turn dreadful, especially due to the modern macho vibe. Though there was variety with the cast, I thought Ben Kingsley (Gandhi, Iron Man 3) as Nun and Sigourney Weaver (The Cabin in the Woods, Avatar) as Tuya were utterly wasted in this mess. I believe a good portion of the fault was due to having four writers working on the script. There was never a time where I felt emotionally moved by a scene. And of all scenes not able to stir me, the parting of the sea was such an anticlimactic moment for me. I wished the time spent on creating a visual feast would have gone more into the script; I was looking down at my watch a couple of times, which is never a good sign. To give the benefit of the doubt, maybe there are certain stories/movies that should never be remade. I am not sure; but with our technical prowess in special effects, if the movie studio would have spent more energy on the script this would have been a modern epic.

 

2 1/4 stars

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About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on December 15, 2014, in Drama and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Just seeing the directors name was enough to make me interested in this movie… but the trailer itself given a hint and your review reaffirmed it.

    Nice to see this review starting with your childhood memories and ending with your personal view “maybe there are certain stories/movies that should never be remade”, which I also felt after seeing some remakes in Indian Cinema …

  2. I reviewed this Saturday and definitely like it more than the vast majority of critics. I’ll be honest, I’m pretty amazed at the lashing the film has taken.

  3. I’m your Huckleberry…. A word of advice before we reshoot the scene, take 3 deep breaths and throw your chest out, hold your head up and back about 2 degrees, be more forceful and now while appearing to look slightly upward at Yul Brenner, In a deep rich baritone, LET MY PEOPLE GO!
    Boris Karloff in Frankenstein, Lon Chaney Jr in The Wolfman. My Little Brother and I were at the matinee every saturday morning. We were scary show fanatics, but to answer what you were wondering, The Red Sea was alright parting, but the way it looked just standing up there was terrible, but when it closed up, game over..
    If you make a time machine,(of course we saw the original), you have got to promise NOT to take Freddie Kruger, Hell Raiser, or ANY OF THOSE, you’d give us all heart attacks..
    I shall return, good job!!!!
    Robert

    • Thank you for coming by and taking the time to leave your comments. It is a pleasure to meet you and like you I was at the matinee every Saturday. A happy and healthy holiday season to you and yours. And in 2015 may you find a film that scares the stuff out of you. Take care Robert.

      • Remember the promise I asked of you, but if you just happen by Sweetwater, Texas in the later ’50’s, come on in the Texas Theater.
        Thank You my new Friend!!!!

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