Exodus: Gods and Kings

Exodus: Gods and Kings ★★★½

Exdous: Gods and Kings is a lot more Braveheart than Sunday School; it is a completely enjoyable experience for its 150 minute run-time, filled with fascinating visuals, grand vistas and incredible scale. It has to be one of the grandest films in recent years, it seems to have millions of extras, which I assume to be CGI; Ridley Scott's visual acuity puts any other big blockbuster to shame this year.

The film is undoubtedly completely daft, however I had to admire Christian Bale's commitment to the project, his approach to Moses has to be applauded, he has both the weight and gravitas required, and even manages to sneak in a little nuance. Bale certainly has no intention of playing Moses as a hero and that comes across in the film. Joel Edgerton is given the harder role to work with, the kitsch, camp Egyptian leader Ramesses II. It is almost an impossible role, within the context of the film, but he almost makes it work. Almost sympathetic (barring the whole slaves awkwardness, of course).

The rest of the cast is filled with interesting faces, Ben Kingsley, John Turturro, Aaron Paul, Ben Mendelsohn, Indira Varma and Maria Valverde. None give really stand out performances, but Mendelsohn is somewhat hilarious, in his performance, treating the material with the irreverence it demands.

The film suffers from the problem of its source material. The whole Moses story is a difficult one to transition to the screen, because, essentially, God acts like a total git throughout this period. Thus, Scott casting God as a capricious child makes complete sense, making Moses possibly schizophrenic adds an unease to the story. It is perhaps not handled very well, the kid playing God is not great, but the idea works well enough.

However, had this been Chuck Heston as Moses that child-God would have been pitched into the sea head-first for being exceedingly annoying.

But on the plus side, the film manages to sneak in a line or two which made me laugh due to the incongruity and delivery - "From an economic standpoint alone, what you say is problematic – to say the least." I was hysterical with laughter, and settled fully into the film, from this moment on.

And if God is making plagues begin with really agile crocodiles, then I am making any deal He wants.

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