Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)

2016 #55
Ridley Scott | 144 mins | streaming (HD) | 2.35:1 | UK, USA & Spain / English | 12 / PG-13

Exodus: Gods and KingsFor his most recent historical epic, Ridley Scott tackles the story of Moses. It’s easy to nitpick, depending on your proclivities: whitewashed cast; lack of adherence to the Bible; Ridley’s typically flexible attitude to historiography; it was even banned in Egypt for the negative depiction of both rulers and slaves.

Those aside, it’s visually sumptuous and impressively mounted, with well-imagined semi-plausible versions of the tale’s fantastical elements. However, despite the epic length (and four screenwriters), it never gets inside characters’ heads — they’re just going through motions dictated centuries ago.

Primarily one for those already amenable to its genre or creators.

3 out of 5

Ridley Scott’s latest film, The Martian, premieres on Sky Cinema today. My five-star review is here.

4 thoughts on “Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)

  1. Tricky film this. Below-parr Ridley with some interesting moments. The central premise is pretty daft but you have to respect people’s beliefs, so how do you tackle this in this modern age with religion such a contentious area now? I’m surprised the film was made and turned out half-decent at all. That said, knowing Ridley, I bet there is a much-better director.s cut somewhere,,,

    Liked by 1 person

    • I appreciated them trying to go for a non-religious take on the material, because I often find that grounding/explaining of supernatural elements to be an interesting way of approaching stuff, but there comes a point where you have to either go all-out fantastical or change the text, and I think they struggled with that a bit.


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