MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Thou Shalt Not Fall Asleep’ on Ridley Scott’s EXODUS: Gods and Kings

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Thou Shalt Not Fall Asleep’ on Ridley Scott’s EXODUS: Gods and Kings

I had a chance to see the film before its official screening here in the Philippines. And I must say, with EXODUS: Gods and Kings, Hollywood seems to continue on treading along the Old Testament, setting 2014 perhaps as the year of the Bible with previous releases such as Son of God, Heaven is for Real, God’s Not Dead, and the latest … uhmm is it Noah? Yes, Noah, of course.

While audience who recoiled on Darren Aronofsky’s brave and ingenious reinterpretation of Noah may be reluctant to see another Hollywood Old Testament adaptation any time from now, Ridley Scott promises a nearer and more faithful approach to the Biblical epic in an artistic interpretation.

Exodus: Gods and Kings

Christian Bale as Moses (Left) and Joel Edgerton as Rameses (Right). Exodus: Gods and Kings

Before anything else, I shall inform this first, the film is about 2 hours and 30 minutes at most. So there maybe a few fatigue and drowse attacks which could lure you to sleep. But don’t worry, that can be helped, and Moses will be there yelling at Rameses or something else to snap you out of it, so hold on buddy. With a few hints (or should I say spoilers), here are some points of deliberation to this movie review.

Exodus: Gods and Kings

The Brotherhood Formula

This is a story which is very familiar for most people, if not everyone in the face of the Earth. Whether they have read the Bible, heard it in Sunday school, or watched the previous adaptations namely The Ten Commandments and Prince of Egypt, people know or have already seen the imagery of what the movie with an ‘EXODUS’ on it would look like. However, Ridley Scott knows already what to do with the marvel of the burning bush and the ten plagues and stopped there, he panned the perspective of the core of the film on the tearing brotherhood of Moses (Christian Bale) and Rameses (Joel Edgerton), which is evident in their dramatic shouts in the film’s revelations.

Exodus: Gods and Kings

The Not-So Perfect Casting

I can say, for the most part that the entire flick is a CGI show and that it lacks in narration and characterization. Sure Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton were both superb in acting and gave justice to their roles. But, the starry set of supporting cast sure drowned in the spectacle of the CGI show. A great example was Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul, who plays the ‘should-be right hand of Moses’ Joshua, yet spends a considerable time in certain parts of the film hiding behind a bush. And another was Sigourney Weaver, playing as Rameses’ mother, who literally had about a minute in the cut demanding Moses’ death, in reasons we don’t particularly know.

Exodus: Gods and KingsExodus: Gods and Kings Exodus: Gods and KingsExodus: Gods and Kings

The Epic Visual Effect Show

Ridley Scott had no special effect un-rendered. Starting the film on breathtaking aerials of the majestic Egypt and a skirmish against the Hittites, it looks all striking – just as Scott’s earlier standard of historical epic. From the deepest quarries, the pyramids, the capturing city of Egypt, to the horror and marvel of the ten plagues, and the climactic parting and flowing back of the Red Sea, everything is an eye candy.

Exodus: Gods and Kings

The (Controversial?) Choice of Portraying God

This brings us to Ridley Scott’s breaking off the tradition of the booming voice like that of The Ten Commandments. He adapted the burning bush scene in such an emphatic, creative and far more interesting way that perhaps could stir a controversy for some devout. You want to know about it? See the movie for yourself.

Taking your time deciding whether to watch this film or not is actually going to transcend into a judgment of how this Biblical epic is made alive – creatively into a historical epic tale, wherein Ridley Scott is a veteran already. As for me, I’d rate this film 7 out of 10. We people may prefer something else far from this, we always will, but Exodus: Gods and Kings is undeniably marking a visual grandeur in moving its audiences; even in the midst of a non-preaching modern day Biblical epic shaking our faith.

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