Saturday, 27 December 2014

Exodus: Gods and Kings

The trailer for Exodus: Gods and Kings did its job perfectly as it made me want to pay good money to see the film albeit for all the wrong reasons.   I took nothing about the trailer seriously and my only regret is that the cinema wasn’t empty enough to allow me to enjoy the film in my own special way.
I know more about Ramses than I do about Moses and thanks to  my love of The Mummy I could have a good go at recalling the ten plagues of Egypt if it ever came up in a pub quiz.  I don’t know the story of Moses in any great depth so I have no idea how close to the scripture the film is and it is against my nature to do any background research.   
PLOT:  After doing nothing more dramatic than standing on a rocky hill watching his beard grow in what felt like real time Moses (Christian Bale) leads the Hebrew people out of Egypt.  END PLOT
I believe I counted ten plagues and one parting of a sea therefore I suppose Exodus: Gods and Kings can consider its job done.  The film might have got away with this but with a running time of two hours thirty minutes the lack of substance was well and truly noted around the time of the third plague.
The lack of story meant that there was next to no conflict between Moses and Ramses (Joel Edgerton) and the anguish that four hundred years of slavery would have caused the Hebrew people went practically unmentioned.  The plot boiled down to a lot of people standing around watching/suffering plagues.  Unfortunately the lack of insight into the plight of the Hebrew people meant that by the time the innocent children were killed in their sleep my sympathies were siding with the Egyptians.  I doubt this was the intended outcome.
Despite the lack of plot the film could have been saved by strong performances from the cast.  It wasn't.  Christian Bale is not a charismatic leader and is wound so tight with unnecessary intensity I was worried that he was going to snap himself into smithereens every time he started a monologue.  I wouldn’t follow him to the end of my garden path never mind across a waterless ocean.  Joel Edgerton doesn't fair any better than Bale and spends the vast majority of the film standing around his palace looking dumfounded and breathing through his mouth when angry/stressed/awake.  Ramses reaction to his son’s death should have been Edgerton’s moment to shine but it was beyond him.  There was no chemistry between Bale and Edgerton during their countless scenes of whispering at one another in darkened hallways and courtyards.
I truly believe that the casting director was either taking bribes or completing an elaborate dare with familiar faces such as John Turturro, Sigourney Weaver, Aaron Paul and the inexplicably irritating Ben Mendelsohn all showing up to potter about in the background and contribute absolutely nothing.  A lot has been said already about the casting decisions and as I can't think of anything witty to say on the issue I am going to move on.
The effects were nothing special and no amount of money will be able to make a flock of angry CGI crocodiles look real.  It is hard to see what the alleged £140million (IMDB) was spent on other than copious amounts of eyeliner. 
I have no idea who the target audience was for Exodus: Gods and Kings and I don’t understand why this film was made or what message it was attempting to share.  I was bored out of my skull watching it and writing this review I am more baffled than ever.  Exodus: Gods and Kings gets a generous 3/10.  

I don’t get Exodus: Gods and Kings, and frankly, I don’t think I want to.      


  1. LOL, that's a hilarious review. I wanted to like this film far more than I did.

    1. I really wanted it to fall into the "so bad it's good" category but it couldn't even do that right!