So let it be written
So let it be done
To kill the first born pharaoh son
I’m creeping death.
Metallica’s lyrics brought to life were one of the few bright spots in Ridley Scott’s latest epic which starts off with a very well choreographed fight sequence that had me hoping we would finally see the Ridley Scott that made Gladiator rather than the one who made Robin Hood. Sadly it was the latter.
Exodus starts off with the conflict between the brothers Rameses and Moses right before battle. I felt this was quite liberating and a fresh perspective on these characters and we didn’t have to go through another origin story with the Baby in the Reeds sequence, however as the movie progresses you’ll feel if that was much needed as you do not feel an emotional connect to Rameses as is expected and with an actor like Joel Edgerton, he could have had a definitive take on the character replacing Yul Brynner from the Ten Commandments, rather Edgerton’s Rameses is made a sideshow and a fairly forgettable two dimensional bad guy. Christian Bale is at the top of his game, he carries what little is left to salvage from the script as the tortured Moses trying to find his right place. There are huge names attached to this, John Turturro, Sigourney Weaver, who is painfully under-used, Ben Kingsley, playing his character from Schindler’s List and Aaron “Jesse-Pinkman-going-Biblical- Bitch” Paul, who suffers Weaver’s fate here.
The scope is fantastic, this was similar to the one Scott brought us in Prometheus, some stellar landscape photography coupled with fantastic CGI makes it a very visually impressive feature. The 3D isn’t used as a novelty and used for purpose of depth of field alone and won’t miss much even if you see it in 2D.
The editing is terrible, the scenes which needed to be fleshed out are abruptly short and ones which needed to be trimmed are dreadfully long and tedious, you’ll find yourself resisting drowsiness somewhere right before the Intermission. Exodus tries to scientifically explain the causes for the events which God had inflicted upon Egypt ie., The Nile turning red, plague, pestilence, famine and the swarms of beasts. I quite enjoyed those parts but again the way these are edited makes it seems repetitive. The Old Testament God is the most vengeful in nature, I liked how that was interpreted here, as God is shown to be a child, this explains a lot and Bale’s performance sells that portrayal of the uneasiness of a man, unwillingly having to comply to the wrath of an all powerful child.
Overall with a running time of over 150 minutes, you’ll be trying hard not having an exodus of your own from the theatre.