“Exodus: Gods and Kings” is another attempt by Hollywood to embrace spirituality on the big screen.
However, unlike “Noah,” the faithful may find themselves much more redeemed, if only slightly. What the movie may lack in drama, it makes up for in thunderous spectacle.
Christian Bale stars as Moses and Joel Edgerton from “The Great Gatsby” is Ramses, brothers in Egypt who are united until the discovery of Moses’ true ancestry comes to the forefront and Ramses has him exiled to the desert. There, Moses meets God in the form of a young boy rather than the burning bush. God asks Moses to return to Egypt to free the Hebrew slaves.
Once he returns, Moses confronts Ramses about what he’s been told, but Ramses ignores him and shortly thereafter, all of Egypt is faced with the 10 Biblical plagues. Everything from locusts to rivers of blood and frogs to flies are on display in a truly impressive fashion.
Of course, following the story in a somewhat faithful manner, Moses then leads the Hebrews out of captivity by taking them to cross the Red Sea. Here is when Scott’s full-on, all-out, incredible visuals take front and center.
Even though Scott’s tried-and-true method with the historical epic has been done before, it should’ve been handled with a lot more emotional resonance. Instead, we get a really chatty section of the movie before, during and after the spectacle takes place, and while staying true whenever possible, it doesn’t add anything new or interesting. It seems like the only reason to make the movie was to show off the advancements in CGI — no more, no less.
I actually find myself surprised for recommending this movie on the basis of its spectacle. Even though I don’t feel that the story drew me in and that the characters were just sketchily developed, the movie does create spectacular imagery that we really don’t see in too many movies these days.
“Exodus” doesn’t enter the Promised Land, but it does get there in the distance.
(Rated PG-13 for violence including battle sequences and intense images.)
Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.