Exodus: Gods and Kings was pretty bland. Some of the grander scenes were suitably epic in nature, but for the most part it was just filled with a serviceable script and average acting. God, the bioterrorist, is depicted in a very unfavorable light in all his Old Testament glory, with characters not hesitating to call him a child murderer and Moses himself questioning God's actions. The movie's sort of meant to be more "realistic" and so skips some of the fantastical elements of the story (e.g. the staffs turning into snakes), but this ends up not working very well and detracting from the movie instead. The parting of the Red Sea just ends up being water receding before a tsunami which just looks absolutely terrible and is obviously nowhere near as impressive as what you imagine it to be or what it's like in previous movies such as The Ten Commandments. This is a huge loss as the best parts of the movie end up being the "epic" parts, such as the early battle and the plagues, except Ridley Scott decided it would be a good idea to omit the most memorable part of the whole story. The closing of the Red Sea's still very impressive, but it's just not the same thing (also howdotsunamiswork). The editing for this section of the movie was really bad as well; the speed and distance of the tsunami kept varying depending on what shot type was used and the last strip completely changed from a set of cliffs to a beach.
Everybody who isn't Moses and Ramses/Ramesses has almost no development at all, with Aaron and Joshua in particular having basically no role of significance in the movie. I have no idea what was meant to be happening with the way Ben Kingsley talked. The whole thing was drawn out too long and ultimately lacked any emotional impact; this is meant to be founding myth of Israel, but instead becomes a story about terrorists and how Old Testament God was a dick. This obviously isn't a movie that's going to appeal to religious audiences (which I'm not a part of anyway) because of the depiction of God and it ignores key parts of the Exodus story, such as passing over the Passover altogether (geddit?). On the other hand though, there are references to things which people who aren't from a Judeo-Christian background are almost certainly not going to notice, such as a brief glimpse at the golden calf. I have no idea who this movie is meant to appeal to. If you want to watch a more enjoyable, Biblically-accurate and all-round better depiction of the Exodus, just watch The Prince of Egypt instead.
As visually spectacular as you would expect from a Ridley Scott film (although the 3D is terrible and best avoided), this is equally hampered by a similar issue that plagued Kingdom of Heaven - it feels like there is a stronger director's cut waiting in the wings. The opening portion of the film, detailing Moses' life as an Egyptian prince feels rushed and disjointed and it is really only when he is exiled that the film settles into a much stronger edit. Bale gives a strong performance throughout as a more conflicted central character than previous depictions of Moses and there is an interesting choice to introduce a certain element of ambiguity to the more overt religious aspects of the story - the film treads a fine line between suggesting natural causes and more spiritual ones throughout. This makes for a much more interesting take on a very familiar story, but equally it is likely that a future cut will vastly improve the disjointed nature of some of the film.
Scott's visually stunning epic is an emotionless event.
Disappointing. The movie wasn't tense at any moment. The writing was poor. The kid acting as God's messenger made no sense. Moses didn't carry his staff, so no snake scene and even more disappointing, no splitting the sea in 2. A lot in this movie did not make sense.
This movie was rather disappointing as far as I am concerned. The original story has been rewritten rather drastically. This in itself do not bother me too much. I am not one of those fanatics that get a fart stuck the wrong way if someone messes with the holy bible. However, I really do not think this was a good rewrite. A lot of the magical moments had been removed and that took away a lot from the story.
The movie starts off good enough with some nice and fairly impressive battles. Then it slows down a lot and sometimes I got a “get on with it damn it” feeling. When we finally got around to the burning bush part I got rather underwhelmed. God as a vengeful kid? Come on!
The disasters and the special effects are not too shabby but the entire bit where Moses confronted Ramses and warned him about the disasters that where to befall Egypt are taken out. They where just thrown on Egypt one after another in ways that could be explained away as natural disasters. From one point of view I can understand the wish to do this but to me it took something away from the movie.
Later when Ramses decides to go after the Hebrews it continues in the same way with Ridley Scott downplaying the magic in the story. There is no pillar of fire and Moses is not holding out his staff to split the see. The sea just decided to recede and Moses takes advantage of it. Sure the effects when the water returns where quite cool but again, the magic was gone.
Technically the movie is quite well done and the acting is quite okay but the biblical grandeur and mythical aspects are no longer there. This grand adventure story is simply reduced to an ordinary, fairly mediocre adventure movie with a high budget. I have to say that I enjoyed Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments more even though the special effects in that one is hopelessly outdated and the acting is a bit awkward.