Friday, 26 December 2014

Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)

Ridley Scott directs yet another aesthetically pleasing but underwhelming and hollow offering. Like 'Noah', this is a big budget retelling of an Old Testament story. Unlike 'Noah', however, this lacks any kind of imagination or creativity and comes off as a by-the-numbers ("but Moses' story is in Exodus and not Numbers" *sigh*) retelling that will be forgotten quickly. If anything, it made me think that perhaps I was a little harsh on 'Noah'.

'Exodus' is the ninth studio album by Bob Marley tells the story of Moses (Christian Bale) and his God-given task of removing the Hebrew slaves from Egypt and taking them to the promised land. He starts out in a position of power as the adopted brother of the future Pharaoh of Egypt before being told his true heritage by a bunch of slaves. He gets exiled for this and returns about a decade later to, in this version, fight a war of attrition against the Pharaoh (it's a montage) before God delivers a few plagues unto the Egyptians, crippling them to the point of giving in to Moses' demands.

I didn't find this to be a very interesting film. Sure, it looks pretty but that rarely means much if there is nothing for the film to do. There were times when the film seemed like it was wondering if it should go down a particular, different route but never does. The only time the film really had my attention was when the plagues strike (kind of the main reason to watch the film) but that, like the supposed 'War of Attrition' in this, is practically a montage. What's left is an unimaginative, unspectacular plod through a story told in a more engaging/entertaining way in 'The Ten Commandments' and 'Prince of Egypt'.

At the centre of this insipid piece of work are a bunch of forgettable characters who do nothing to leave their mark. You feel nothing for these characters nor the relationships between any of them. There should be a lot more going underneath the surface of these characters but all I see is Christian Bale in a beard (and using an alternating accent) and Joel Edgerton in eye-liner. That's about as deep as this gets. Any other 'character' is basically a cameo from various actors you might recognise. That's all they have to them. Nothing to latch on to and care about.

What did occur to me as I watching this was that some of the way this film was shot/done might have been better suited to some of the stories in the book of Judges. At least, some of the scenes just reminded me of that. Had they been adapting that instead of Exodus then that decision alone would have been more innovative considering they are lesser known ones.

'Exodus' is another misfire from Ridley Scott. It's dull and unimaginative take of the story of Moses will leave you underwhelmed and bored.

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