Exodus: Gods and Kings

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Exodus: Gods and Kings is a 2014 British-American adventure-Biblical film. A retelling of the Book of Exodus, it stars Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Sigourney Weaver, Ghassan Mahmoud, Oscar Isaac, María Valverde, John Turturro, Ben Mendelsohn and Aaron Paul.

Plot

Moses (Bale) and Ramesses (Edgerton) grow up as brothers in the Egyptian royal family, and when Ramesses ascends the throne, he makes Moses his royal adviser. When Moses discovers his Hebrew heritage, he is exiled to the desert, where God appoints him to free the Hebrews from slavery, which puts Moses into conflict with his brother.

Why it Sucks

  1. The film has poor grasp of the source material; Moses uses a sword instead of a staff, and the plagues are done in a domino-like fashion, where crocodiles kill Egyptian to make the waters turn red instead of magic as the Bible said.
  2. Moses has changed from a heroic prophet who leads a community to freedom to a generic action hero.
  3. The lack of character development.
  4. The film is heavily derivative of Prince of Egypt, as well as other biblical epics.
  5. The gloomy tone.
  6. Although the film is set in Ancient Egypt, the main cast is mostly white, with any Arab or African actors relegated to minor roles.
  7. The depiction of God as a little boy drew controversy.
  8. Thin screenwriting.
  9. It was released at a bad timing; in between large-scale movies like the Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies and Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 for a 200 million dollar budget.

Redeeming qualities

  1. Decent acting.
  2. Spectacular visuals.

Trivia

  1. The film was dedicated to Ridley Scott's brother Tony Scott, who killed himself in 2012.
  2. In response to the whitewashing criticisms, Scott claimed that the film would not be financially viable without white actors; this led to accusations of racism.
  3. It, unlike other Bible-based films, was banned in Egypt due to its inaccuracies.
  4. The child who visits Moses in his dreams is not supposed to be God, but the angel Malak.
  5. The role of Nun is played by Ben Kingsley, who played Moses in the 1995 TV movie of the same name.
  6. The role of Moses was originally played by Val Kilmer in Prince of Egypt; both Val Kilmer and Christian Bale have also played Batman.
  7. Although the film has been criticized for whitewashing, interestingly these claims have never been levied towards portrayals of Jesus, who is always played by white actors, despite the fact he was ethnically Jewish and would have been of Middle Eastern ancestry, perpetuating a myth begun by early Christian artists.