After Darren Aronofskyâ€™s bible story re-imagining, Noah, became one of the most divisive films of 2014 â€” ruffling the feathers of both religious viewers and hardcore cinephiles alike â€” the release of 20th Century Fox and director Ridley Scottâ€™s Moses movie, Exodus: Gods and Kings, was destined to carry another wave of controversy into theaters.
Ridley Scottâ€™s version of the Exodus story focuses on the tenuous rivalry between Moses and Ramses.
“You have to work awfully hard to make a hash of the Moses story. Â Yet thatâ€™s what director Ridley Scott did with â€œExodus: Gods and Kings,” the Biblical tale most memorably put on film in Cecil B. DeMilleâ€™s 1956 version, â€œThe Ten Commandments.” (There was a silent film by DeMille, and subsequent TV movies and an animated retelling.)”
Though Exodus: Gods and Kings doesnâ€™t have the art-house edge or in-your-face craziness of Darren Aronfoskyâ€™s Noah, it still wonâ€™t be an easy sell for by-the-book evangelicals.
A lot of Christians have completely dismissed the film from the outset because of the films many deviations from the narrative in Exodus 1-14. Â Moses wields a sword but not a staff; Moses is chatty but Aaron has almost no lines; Moses kills lots of people and fights in the Egyptian army; no â€œstaff-to-snake” scene; no repeated utterances of â€œlet my people go”; no â€œbaby Moses in the Nile” scene.
“Getting past the obvious issues that Scott willfully to decided to cast white actors in the roles of Egyptians for no good reason, this movie’s problems go beyond that. But at least the plagues are good.”
Scott willfully to decided to cast white actors as Egyptians and non-white actors as slaves/servants, and an inexplicable preponderance of British accents.
With an atheist as its director and a lead actor who regrettably suggested Moses could be seen as â€œschizophrenic” and â€œbarbaric,” the film more than invites skepticism from biblically faithful filmgoers. The hardhearted â€œRamses” approach is thus the expected response from dubious Christian audiences. Is another approach is possible?
Worse, â€œExodus” is ultimately undone by its horrible script, credited to four people. The movieâ€™s technical achievements canâ€™t drown out 21/2 hours of awfulness. Â I walked out as I watched Moses chisel the tablets of stone while some creepy little boy poured tea. Need I say more?
“The only way this gets a positive rating is if it’s NOT compared to the classic “Ten Commandments”, otherwise it’s a shameful, waste of a remake. I barely got halfway through it before pulling the plug on its awfulness.”
In the end, should â€œExodus: Gods and Kings” just be ignored? As Ramses said in the ’56 version: â€œSo let it be written, so let it be done.