You can’t beat a good Biblical Epic. There are the classics such as The Ten Commandments and Ben-Hur along with the more recent unrelenting Passion of Christ and the unfairly derided Noah. Ridley Scott, who directed the latter, is not stranger to epics; with both Gladiator and the criminally underrated Kingdom of Heaven to his name as well. In his latest film, Exodus: Gods and Kings, he returns to The Bible again but with unfortunately diminishing returns.
Moses (Christian Bale) is a a general and member of the Royal Family. He grew up with Prince Ramesses (Joel Edgerton) and the pair are like brothers, yet the prince is wary of the more accomplished Moses. On a visit to Pithom, Moses is told of his true Hebrew heritage by Nun (Ben Kingsley). After a falling out with Ramesses over a prophecy he is sent into exile. He finds a new life and starts a family and happy years pass by until he gets injured and encounters a burning bush, where a messenger from God tells him what he should do. And the rest, as they say, isn’t history.
Ridley Scott may have made a film which looks fantastic and features some good acting performances, but it’s quite frankly boring; which is the worst criticism I can think of for any action film. There’s no sense of jeopardy, excitement or anything to really pull you in. Whilst I accept it’s difficult with such a well-known story, he did a much better job with Noah; which at least had heart. He also makes the frankly baffling decision to try and diminish God’s role in events. However, Exodus: Gods and Kings is still a pleasant way to while away a Sunday afternoon.
Exodus: Gods and Kings is released on DVD and Blu-ray by 20th Century Fox, and is out now