Exodus: A Solid Retelling of Moses’ Story

“Exodus: Gods and Kings,” is the retelling of an infamous story—the tale of Moses, the exodus from Egypt, the burning bush, the frogs, the boils, the hail, the commandments and the Red Sea crossing. To review this rendition of the well-known tale, a critic completed an article for The Chicago Tribune, detailing the high and low points of the progression of the film.

The movie was directed by Ridley Scott, who the reviewer notes did an excellent job of keeping everyone on the screen grounded—clearly working hard and earnestly, with a sense of seriousness towards the purpose of the film. The script was completed in shifts and phases by a number of people, including Adam Cooper, Bill Collage, Jeffrey Caine and Steven Zaillian. However, despite the number of sheer contributors, the critic often found the writer to be more expedient than inspired.

In terms of acting, Christian Bale plays Moses. Bale starts the film displaying a mid-Atlantic/British combination of a dialect but morphs over the course of the movie to sound and act more as traditionally favored Moses’ have, such as Charlton Heston in “The Ten Commandments,” and even Mel Brooks in “History of the World—Part I.” This could be the direct result of viewing “History of the World,” as Bale has acknowledged that he viewed the film as part of his research for the part. The supporting cast receives some note from the reviewer as well. John Turturro and Sigourney Weaver receive compliments on the attire they wear in their roles as Ramses’ parents. Ben Kingsley plays Nun, the Hebrew scholar and slave leader and, in the process, brings his patented, slightly unhinged gravitas to the character. Aaron Paul lends a multitude of support as he serves as Joshua, Moses’ right-hand man. The only bit of casting to be seen relatively negatively is Isaac Andrews as God; the actor and director worked to bring about a God as played by a preteen British boy, who is found of scowling and issuing rhetorical and spiritual challenges to His go-to human. Some Biblical literalists do not approve of the representation.
The plagues are, perhaps, what had the reviewer most intrigued, as twenty-first century technology could bring these troubles to life in a completely new way. Not only do the plagues look fitting to modern moviemaking, there is an accompanying explanation with each, which adds a plausible aspect to the plagues.
Ultimately, the reviewer believes individual audience reactions to the piece will correspond with Scott’s previous epic—“Robin Hood.” The reviewer found each to be square and rather heavy on its feet. However, both films easily held his attention, even when its bigness trumped its goodness.

Harry Dalian