EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS MOVIE REVIEW
“I am.” The name for which God calls himself is barely hinted in the movie EXODUS: GODS and KINGS. God’s wrath is mighty, but the how and why seem to be absent from the film. The story of Moses and the Israelites is one of the most fascinating stories in the Bible. Yet, the writers of the film took great liberties changing things up. For instance, Moses wields a sword given to him by Pharaoh rather than using the simple staff, whose use was directed by God. This obviously led to the absence of the staff turning into a serpent, since there was none. Aaron was also a part of God’s plan to aid Moses in dealing with Pharaoh, yet he is barely noticeable in the film. The ten plagues were quickly time elapsed, with barely a word spoken between Moses and Pharaoh. One would wonder if Pharaoh even knew he was being told to “Let my people go.” In the book of Exodus, scripture says that Moses’s wife and children traveled with him back to Egypt, yet this movie wife stayed behind angry with God and her man. Passover was hardly explained as to why it was necessary to put the blood over the doorposts.
In a good movie, an observer needs to feel connected to the main characters. There was little to connect with in this film. The Israelite's plight was more of an overview, with no real story to sink your teeth into. People getting whipped, hung and working in the fields should have tugged at the heart, but alas barely so. Although an awesome actor, Christian Bale’s Moses is stifled, angry and questioning God. He seems to have no faith in anything except his sword. Although the real Moses was reluctant to be the deliverer of the Israelites, this movie version Moses is disrespectful to God. But perhaps this can be explained by the small, sulky boy playing I AM.
In what should have been an epic scene, the parting of the Red Sea was a bit confusing with the Israelites walking up to the chests into the Red Sea, then suddenly walking in and out of watery areas. The parting of the sea should have been a fascinating moment - one of triumph revealing God’s almighty power, but again it seemed distorted and insignificant.
My review: What could have been a fascinated film was stifled by poor dialogue and confusion. Most writers will embellish a story a bit, but that wasn’t this film’s problem. It was lack of heart. Substance. Faith.
Perhaps a narrator would have helped the film’s cause.
Reviewed by: Tamera Lawrence, author