While the fam and I were out on a family adventure over the weekend, we stayed at a hotel. During this hotel visit, I had the misfortune of watching “Exodus: Gods and Kings.” I should’ve realized it was a bad idea when the word “God” is pluralized in the title.
Here’s a description of the movie from Wikipedia:
“Exodus: Gods and Kings is a 2014 biblically-inspired epic film directed by Ridley Scott. It was written by Adam Cooper, Bill Collage, Jeffrey Caine and Steven Zaillian. The film stars Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, John Turturro, Aaron Paul, Ben Mendelsohn, María Valverde, Sigourney Weaver, Ghassan Massoud, Golshifteh Farahani and Ben Kingsley. It is a loose interpretation of the story of the exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt as led by Moses and related in the Book of Exodus.”
A loose interpretation? That’s generous at best.
I’ll admit that I didn’t see the first 1/3 of the film, but I highly doubt it would sway my review. I found myself plopped into a scene with Moses and a little British boy. They were arguing and it was painful to realize that this little boy (who sounded like he was from “Another Brick in the Wall” Pink Floyd song) represented God and/or His messenger.
About the only redeeming part of the entire movie was the visual effects of the plagues, but even they were flawed. The plague of water to blood was caused by…trained crocodiles? Really?! So, then that set up the frogs fleeing the Nile (because the crocs couldn’t get to all the water). It’s just a convenient excuse that sets up plagues, one caused by another (flies are because stuff dies). CGI is wonderful to show the infestation, but I was already put off by the lack of God and remained ambivalent throughout the entire plagues.
Until the death of the first born. My writer’s brain has always toyed with the story of the plagues: the smell after water turning to blood and the livestock dying. Personally, especially after I became a mom and Thing 1 had a health scare as a one-month old, I envisioned the death plague very similar to Ridley Scott’s portrayal. The sound of weeping and utter despair filling the night was the sole highlight for me because the film was finally spot on.
Then back to disappointment. Thing 2 was mad that the cloud of fire wasn’t shown. Moses chucks his sword into the Red Sea (after he loses his directions and prays behind a rock to God and leaves before an answer because apparently Moses ain’t got time for that). The water “kind of” goes down. I just taught this same Sunday School lesson earlier this year and the Israelites walked on dry land, Ridley. They didn’t wade through hip high water. Cue a dramatic meeting of Moses and Ramses in front of a looming wave (and don’t forget the swelling music) before they both are washed away by said wave. Blah. Whatever. Moses ends up sitting on a beach where Aaron finds him and they give each other bro head nods. “Sup?”
Don’t watch this movie if you don’t want to make yourself crazy because it’s “loosely” interpreted from the Bible. It’s less than loose – the character names happen to coincide. Watch this movie if you want a lesson on Egyptian eyeliner. And how to train killer crocodiles.