The defiant leader Moses rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses, setting 400,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues.
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Biblical epic Exodus: Gods and Kings stars Christian Bale as Moses who, as the film opens, fights alongside his brother Ramses (a shaved-headed Joel Edgerton), to help defend Egypt, which is ruled by their father, Seti (John Turturro). During battle, Moses saves Ramses life, causing Ramses to fear that his brother will one day be King because it fits with a prophecy handed down by one of Seti's trusted spiritualists. Soon after Seti's death, Moses, who is actually Jewish and not Egyptian, is banished. However, he becomes the leader of the Jewish people and leads a rebellion, with the help of a wrathful God, against that Egyptians..
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A movie need not be a mirror that you gaze into to somehow discover your own soul, the human condition or much of anything at all. It is quite alright to watch a movie for a little harmless entertainment. Ah, but there are those of our species that wish each event could be crafted to teach a lesson, or right a wrong or bend the mind of the uneducated to a certain point of view. They are happiest when they exert a little control over you, citizen! Those people just bore me to tears.nnI found this to be an enjoyable 'Biblical Epic' type of film with above average acting, cinematography and direction. I believe that if a person has two hours to spend and wants a little diversion this will do. It is a work that represents the 'spectacular' genre these days and is well worth the time and rental fee.nnOn the other hand, if a person wants historical accuracy they should probable seek out a documentary and cross their fingers – the era handled by Scott isn't all that well known and there is much disagreement about the Jewish migration out of Egypt. At the time, nobody was taking pictures or tweeting about the experience. As a result, almost all we know about that time is either speculation or mythology or both. (Those that argue about the 'accuracy of this movie really tickle me.) Of course, this movie deals with religious topics. You already knew that I bet. If you are going to watch Exodus for religious reasons look out! If you are really devout, you will find it weak. If you are without religion, you will find it too strong. If you practice the faith of Rameses you will no doubt be offended. Happy entrails to you.nnFf you like to get your religion from someplace other than from a Ridley Scott movie you will be OK on the faith issue. I was neither converted nor offended.nnAnd, if you are looking for cinema that will either reaffirm your political beliefs or teach you something really, really deep then bypass this. It is a movie, not some sort of brain add-on that will make you a better person or symbolically pat you on the back for being so accurate, either left or right, in your politics.nnChris Bale is good as Moses. I know, easy for me to say (I never met Moses) but I think he is good. Bale's character develops and grows as the story goes on and though he's a little young I can buy him as the patriarch. Joel Edgerton is a good Rameses. No, he isn't Egyptian by birth. But, he is all the Rameses I looked forward to and he's appropriately cruddy when the need arises. Pharaohs are a spoiled bunch and Joel conveys that quality well. Maria Valverde is effective in her role as Mrs. Moses. She is a model, by the way, and a woman that is skilled at appearing glamorous. Ben Kingsley gets to play the Ben Kingsley part. I really have no problems with his casting and he does his version of Ben Kingsley quite well.nnSeveral of the named talents have very small, insignificant roles. That is too bad for them, I am sure. But there screen time doesn't harm the movie.nnThe more spectacular elements of the story are done well. Plagues, parting waters, theological discussions with you-know-who, all pulled off skillfully. Sex is quite muted (less than pre-Hayes stuff)and the gore isn't all that gory (for the most part) so I think it is OK for the kiddies. This isn't history a la Pasolini.nnWay back then things were probably quite rotten for many of the residents. This movie shows the conditions without bleeding all over the screen. I think that is a plus. But the sense of struggle for an oppressed minority is effectively conveyed.nnIn short a rather good movie! If you wish, you can believe those that would rather (ahem) make your thoughts their concern to the point that they direct your behavior. Or, you can trust good old me, I promise that for a modern day Old Testament epic this one is dandy.
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