Exodus: Gods and Kings Review

Preface

  • Exodus: Gods and Kings has been generating a lot of negative buzz from critics, a lot of it from the ethnicity of its stars.
    • I’m not going to deal with the latter of those issues in this review, but I do disagree with the first part because I enjoyed this film.
      • Mostly…

Cast and Characters

  • Alright, let’s get this out of the way: about half of the actors in this movie feel completely miscast.
  • I will say this: Christian Bale was really good as Moses. He was good casting.
    • Though I’ve always wanted Bryan Cranston to play Moses.
      • Imagine him with the gruff beard and in his Heisenberg voice saying, “Let my people go!”
    • And if Heisenberg was Moses, then Christian Bale could have been Ramesses, which would have been perfect.
  • Joel Edgerton plays Ramesses, the “baddie” in this movie, but you never get the feeling that he’s actually a bad dude.
    • He’s conflicted, and then turns “bad” sure, but he never really shows that anger.
    • He just comes across as a spoiled brat for most of the movie, and I think Bale would have captured the taste that Scott was looking for in this role.
  • Ben Kingsley and Aaron Paul were among many brief appearances in this movie and again:
    • Kingsley was great, really encompassed his character.
    • But with Paul, any time he was there I was like, “it’s Jesse Pinkman, it’s Jesse Pinkman!
  • Like I said, the whole ethnicity thing I won’t get into, but maybe actors of the culture would have played the roles better?

Setting and Scope

  • “Direction” can’t even be summed up in one heading for this, so I’m breaking it down in two.
    • This first one being the setting of story, and how grand it felt.
  • This film did such an accurate job of portraying what I’ve imagined Egypt to have looked like in the actual Book of Exodus.
    • The pyramids are half-built
    • There’s a lot of fresh Egyptian hieroglyphs
    • The Egyptian culture is really present
  • It’s really, really cool when a movie can get inside peoples’ heads like that and portray an accurate representation of a setting, especially one as far off as Egypt in 1300 B.C.
  • Also, the scope of this movie is HUGE.
    • Not as huge as something like Interstellar, but still gigantic.
    • Scott uses a lot of wide-shots, and really paints the setting for us, which again, puts us in that time.
    • Not to mention, there are thousands of people living in this place, and it looks like there are thousands of people and everyone lives there.
    • Nothing about this ever felt too big or small, and always managed what the ancient Egyptian imprisonment of the Hebrews looked like.

Imagery

  • As I briefly discussed earlier, Ridley Scott uses a lot of long, wide-shots, as well as these really gritty images.
    • He shows maggots just scattering through small loaves of bread at a point, and it’s so zoomed in on the maggot on that piece of bread, it adds this sense of connective realism.
  • Not only that, but he knows exactly how to make everything religious enough without reaching too far.
    • Example: almost all of the plagues (I’ll get to those) had a scientific explanation to it.

Other Positives

  • The Plagues in this movie were brilliant.
    • In fact, I’m pretty sure they’re going to start showing that 25 minutes of this movie in high school religion classes.
    • Each of the plagues was exactly how I imagined it to be, and could not have been pulled off any better.
  • God
    • God is portrayed so well in this movie!
    • I won’t tell you guys how, cuz you should see the movie yourselves, but it’s such a brilliant way of making him appear.
      • A lot better than Morgan Freeman just appearing from nowhere.

Pacing

  • OH MY GOD! (Literally!) What was the run time of this monstrosity!?!?
  • The movie is only 154 minutes but, holy God!
    • I checked my phone’s clock about an hour in (during the endless exposition) and was wondering how much longer we had.
      • At least before it got cool.
    • Something like Interstellar was really long too, but these two differ.
      • Interstellar feels long, but almost all of it is relevant, interesting, and captivating.
      • Exodus: Gods and Kings feels long, is boring for scenes at a time during the first act, and could have completely shaved down the ending.
    • If there’s one thing I’d have to say when talking about this movie to someone, it would be the runtime.
      • You literally feel worn out and tired after watching it.
        • It’s really this thing you have to be watching on DVD or Netflix, and have the ability to take breaks when needed.
      • I’ll tell ya this, no one stayed around to see if there was a post-credits scene…
      • The pacing is a bit off too.
        • There are points where months pass, and you aren’t even told until you figure it out yourself.
      • Also, I’ll talk about the 3D, because I saw it in 3D (for some reason…).
        • You don’t need to see this in 3D, and I recommend you don’t and save the $4.
        • It did add this really crisp layer to the film though, and that was neat.

In Conclusion

  • In Conclusion, Exodus: Gods and Kings was a very entertaining movie with lots of really cool action, Christian Bale did a great job despite a lot of miscast actors, and the direction was brilliant, despite some sloppy pacing. I really like how God was portrayed and this was a really fun movie.
  • It’s not near my Top 10 of the year, but it is a really good time you guys should check out.

3.25/5

  • I’m back at it with the decimal ratings…
    • Which I’m not a fan of for all you new readers.
  • I’ll also mention that they just HAD to include the Ten Commandments at the end…
    • I thought they were saving that for the post-credits scene!
      • Deuteronomy: Laws and Prophets, coming December 2015!
        • Noah, Son of Man, and Exodus: Gods and Kings will form the Biblical Shared Universe!

***

So guys, those are my thoughts on Exodus: Gods and Kings! If you’ve seen it, what are your thoughts? Let me know down below, and as always, thanks for reading guys.

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