Movie Review – Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)

Let my 3.5 readers go!

No, wait.  Bring my 3.5 readers back.  If they leave, then no one will read this terrible blog.

BQB here with a review of Exodus: Gods and Kings.

It’s Easter night and you know what that means.  Eating copious amounts of candy and watching the story of Moses.  For the longest time, you were able to watch The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston or since 2014, you can watch the Christian Bale version, Exodus:  Gods and Kings.

Yup, I’m a few years late in reviewing this film but hey, better late than never and I figure I might as well review it while I’m watching it.

This film is visually stunning.  It’s a little surprising it didn’t get an Oscar love.  I mean, I still can’t believe that pile of crap Birdman won an Oscar but this film didn’t get much recognition.

The interesting part of this film is that it is told to suit a modern audience.

Oh wait, you’re probably all heathens who don’t know any of this shit so let me give you the synopsis.

Baby Moses is floated down the river and honestly, I forget why.  Maybe his parents were in trouble.  Maybe someone was after Moses.  Maybe his parents were crackheads.  At any rate, when the little guy reaches shore, he’s found by the Egyptian royal family and adopted as the son of the Pharaoh.

Moses grows up and lives the life of a wealthy, arrogant Egyptian royal family member, looking down upon the poor and downtrodden, especially the Jews, who are whipped and beaten and used as slave labor to build the pyramids and shit.

Later, Moses learns that he is, in fact, Jewish, and suddenly he starts to feel bad about how the Jews are being treated.  God speaks to him via a burning bush.  The Pharaoh has died and Moses’ adopted brother, Ramses, becomes the Pharaoh.

The burning bush tells Moses to pass along a message to Ramses.  Sorry if I botch the message, but its basically, “Let my people (the Jews) go, or shit’s about to go down.”

Ramses scoffs at this.  He’s the mighty Pharaoh after all.  So God follows through.  Plagues, pestilence, frogs, locusts, all kinds of heinous shit happens to the Egyptians.  Even their first born sons are all killed.

Tired of all the bullshit, Ramses lets the Jews go, then thinks better of it, and sends his Army to recapture them.  Moses, now a mighty right hand of God, uses his power to part the Red Sea, allowing the Jews to escape to safety and then brings it down on the Egyptians, drowning them.

Boo-yah!  Sorry, but someone needed to bring that Pharaoh down a peg.

Anyway, I apologize if I got that story wrong but that’s the gist that’s in my mind anyway.

The Charlton Heston version provides a fairly true to the bible version.

This new version, Exodus, keeps the modern, skeptical viewer in mind.  There isn’t a whole lot of magic in the movie but rather, room to speculate and ponder.

For example, all the locusts and pestilence and kids dying could be God, or it could just all be the result of bizarre natural occurrences.  The times were bad and people lived in lousy, unsanitary conditions, so its not that surprising that a lot of kids would die or that a bunch of bugs would show up.

Moses (Bale) tells Ramses that this is all legit, that all the bad shit that’s going down is because of God.  Ramses accuses Moses of being a crazy charlatan, that he’s somehow bringing all the plagues and killing all the kids just so he can steal all his slaves.

As a viewer, you’re free to think either option.

Meanwhile, there’s no burning bush but rather, a boy who a) is definitely God who has taken the form of a boy to speak to Moses or b) a very religious boy who thinks he speaks for God or c) the result of some hallucination Moses is experiencing.  Again, your choice.

Further, the Red Sea is parted.  Moses might have done it…or it might have just been a giant tidal wave caused by super bad weather.

In other words, maybe Moses had powers and maybe he was God’s right hand man in freeing his people…or maybe Moses just lucked his way through a series of bizarre events and coincidences that made it look like he was working for God but in fact, just stumbled his way to glory.

I don’t know, man.  I wasn’t there.  All in all, it’s an interesting retelling and preserves the story for a new generation.

STATUS: Shelfworthy.

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