Exodus: Gods and Kings a Visual Treat (Film Review)

EXODUS poster


Special effects and cinematography are key in this colossal release of Exodus: Gods and Kings. The two and a half hour visual treat takes you into the Biblical times of Moses and his fight to free the Jews from Egyptian slavery. You may have a similar film called The Ten Commandments in you DVD library, but for sure it’s not at the level as this production. Seeing the film on the big screen is the only way to go and I do recommend 3D.

Unlike its predecessor, the film starts with an older Moses (Christian Bale) who with Ramses (Joel Edgerton) has been learning to appreciate his station within the Egyptian realm during the time of the Pharaoh Seti (John Turturro). Seti wanting to see what’s forthcoming, tells his high priestess (Indira Varma) to provide him with a vision of the two boy’s future. She predicts that Ramses will become Pharaoh and Moses will save his life during the battle of the Hittites. So begins a story that will put the two men on a collision course involving revelations for Moses and the freeing of the Hebrew slaves.

Moses (Christian Bale) leads his army into battle

Moses (Christian Bale) leads his army into battle

The film gets displayed with all the wonders of Egypt in its time of glory. Director Ridley Scott uses a mass of CGI and special sets throughout the film depicting a country steeped in wealth, but wrought with human cruelty. He spares no dollars getting the perfect shots of battle scenes and the inhumanity shown to the workers who build the Pyramids at the behest of a tyrant. His close-ups of the gaudy costuming, CGI of the giant red sea tsunami and wide lenses that sweep the interiors of the lavish palace are incredible. The display gives an unnerving vision of unconceivable wealth and conflict. All these factors make Scott’s production an eye popping show in 3D.

Moses (Christian Bale) confronts Ranses (Joel Edgerton)

Moses (Christian Bale) confronts Ranses (Joel Edgerton)

The acting is proficient and the lead stars fulfill expectations that make the story a very good drama. Both Bale and Edgerton live up to their ability to create good characters. Not the ordinary tale of a Moses being washed up along the river that runs near the doorstep of Seti’s palace, the movie doesn’t follow the biblical version as close as the Ten Commandments. Yet we do see the wrath of God in the plagues and the changes in Moses when he learns the truth about his heritage. Maria Valverdi as Zipporah and Segourney Weaver as Tuya create wonderful characters to look at during their delivery of very good supporting roles.

The entrance to Seti's Palace show the detail of Ridley Scott's film.

The entrance to Seti’s Palace shows the detail of Ridley Scott’s film.

The film’s not an instant classic by any means, but does entertain with compelling drama and extravagant action scenes. Exodus: Gods and Kings has been rated PG-13 for violence including battle sequences and intense images. The film does get a little brutal at times so be sure to accompany anyone under the age of thirteen.

FINAL ANALYSIS: A very extravagant production with its own biblical convictions. (C+) 

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, John Turturro, Aaron Paul, Ben Mendelsohn, Maria Valverde, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence including battle sequences and intense images
Running Time: 2 hrs 30 min
Release Date: December 12, 2014
Distributed by: Twentieth Century Fox Corp
Release Formats: 2D, 3D

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