Exodus: Gods and Kings starring Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Aaron Paul, Ben Kingsley, John Turturro and Sigourney Weaver is the latest movie to come out of Hollywood’s renewed interest in the Old Testament.
Darren Aronofsky tackled the story of Noah’s Ark earlier this year and now Ridley Scott is sharing his interpretation of the story of Moses. The result is a movie with a compelling story and characters that are sympathetic and not one-dimensional.
For those who may be fuzzy on the details, Moses was born a Jew but raised an Egyptian. As a grown man he would help free the Jews from slavery, but not without some help from God in the form of 10 plagues, which Scott has great fun depicting in the movie.
Moses is also known for parting the Red Sea as an escape route from Ramses forces. Scott does his best to make this as impressive as possible.
For the production Scott worked with veterans from Gladiator including Arthur Max on production design and Janty Yates on costume design. Max and Yates once again prove how comfortable they are in this time period and setting.
Cinematographer Dariusz Wolski, who worked with Scott on Prometheus, captures the scope of the landscape expertly.
With all the opportunities Scott has to use visual effects in the story, it’s nice that he spends time developing the story and establishing the characters. Ramses is not painted as purely evil and Moses is not completely innocent and pure. Both men are flawed.
Bale and Edgerton do a fine job in their roles. All of the actors deliver solid performances. The only one who seems underutilized is Sigourney Weaver, who only has a few lines in the movie. It almost seems like she is there as a favor to Scott.
It does feel that only a director with Scott’s track record could pull off a movie like Exodus: Gods and Kings. Now it’s up to audiences to decide if it was a story worth telling.