2014, Movies

Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014, Ridley Scott)

Hollywood maybe the only film industry that could view Exodus as the premise for an action movie. And make no mistake, that’s what this is. Sure, we get attempts at making this about something else – faith vs. reason, appears to be a poorly stated theme, for example – and there is character development in at least a couple characters, but, on the whole, this is just a spectacle in which lots of people die.

Everyone is miscast. Well, maybe not everyone. But almost every single major role is. The story is moved so far away from the original biblical source as to be rendered almost unrecognizable. And whatever this was supposed to be – at times it honestly feels like at least a few people responsible for this movie were trying to make this a more realistic version of Exodus, despite the ridiculousness of that enterprise, especially within the context of an action film – it ends up being entirely confused about what that is: it may work as a very Hollywoodized version (i.e. an invented version) of Moses but it doesn’t work as much else – are we supposed to feel sympathy for anybody here? – and it sure takes its time.

All this being said, the production values are excellent. And the film, though overlong, is moderately entertaining – Ridley Scott made this after all – despite being so preposterously not actually the story of Exodus in any sense. So it’s not awful. But it’s bad if you value anything other than set pieces.

3/10

  • Directed by Ridley Scott
  • Produced by Peter Chernin, Ridley Scott, Jenno Topping, Michael Schaefer, Mark Huffam
  • Written by Adam Cooper, Bill Collage, Jeffrey Caine, Steven Zaillian
  • Starring Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, John Turturro, Aaron Paul, Ben Mendelsohn, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley
  • Music by Alberto Iglesias
  • Cinematography by  Dariusz Wolski
  • Edited by Billy Rich
  • Production companies: Chernin Entertainment, Scott Free Productions, Babieka, Volcano Films, TSG Entertainment
  • Distributed by 20th Century Fox
  • Release date: December 12, 2014
  • Running time: 150 minutes
  • Country:  United States, United Kingdom, Spain
  • Language: English
  • Budget: $140–200 million
  • Box office: $268.2 million

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