Exodus: Gods and Kings

Exodus: Gods and Kings ★★★★

The most common complaint of this film seems to be that it is too long or boring, but I truly can't see it how. Not even once did I feel the length while watching, the interesting characters and stunning visuals both made sure of that. I even think it might benefit from having some parts fleshed out. Exodus: Gods and Kings is a pure feast for the eyes filled with compelling characters to make it entertaining from start to finish.

Visually, it is all that is advertised by the trailer and more, the costumes, sets and effects all blended together beautifully. The shot where they show you the vastness of Memphis and Pharaoh's empire are especially majestic. Additionally, the plagues Moses' God brings upon the city are perhaps the most visually impressive parts, but one of the few complaints I have would be the relatively low amount of focus and screen time they got, and I would have appreciated getting to know more of the impact on the rest of the city. But at the same time, the story is overall more focused on the relationship between Moses and Ramesses and their respective impact of their lives and decisions, and I could see how that might have been a concious choice by the filmmakers.

The friendship and rivarly of Moses and Remesses is the main focus in the film, and it is well built up from the start and their chemistry felt genuine throughout the entire movie, which, I would say, is a result of both writing and great acting from Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton. The same goes for most of the characters, the exceptions being some of Moses' closest, who never seem get any real development. The Pharaoh's henchmen and advisors were all very interesting and well-acted, perhaps especially Ben Mendelsohn's Viceroy Hegep, despite his somewhat limited screen time.

The main cast of Exodus consists mostly of well-known actors, of which none are of Egyptian descent, which some consider to be controversial. On one hand, I will admit that not using any (?) Egyptian actors for the characters is somewhat questionable, but on the other hand, I think the actors filled their respective roles very well, and never caused this to be an issue to me. Every character looked like they belonged in the film, and I was never given any reason to question their legitimacy, despite their British accents. The makeup of this movie fits well into the setting of Egypt, but while the it fits both the characters and the world very well, I feel like they could have gone even further and maybe exaggerated it to some extent to add to the already beautiful movie and give it more of a unique and striking visual distinction.

Very entertaining and intresting epic from a director whose last few movies have, according to me, gotten some very undeserved criticism. I even think it might be even more entertaining on a rewatch, especially if a director's cut is released.

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