Holy Moses.. king Ridley's done it again; Legendary director Scott's spectacular and much darker take on The 10 Commandments is a biblical belter.
EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS
Ridley Scott shows with Exodus: Gods And Kings just why he is the master of the big–spectacle epic movie, telling the famous story of Moses with historical style, religious respect and a whole lot of gravitas.
It is a Biblical blockbuster to be reckoned with and features Batman star Christian Bale in an all–action swords–and–sandals role as the legendary man who parted the Red Sea and received the 10 Commandments but there is so much more.
Set in 1300BC, this is movie territory that has been mined before – most famously with Cecil B DeMille's film The 10 Commandments, which starred Charlton Heston as Moses, but this 150–minute epic is darker fare, and more the story of revelation and redemption rather than any grand religious gestures.
Add to the pot plagues of frogs, flies and locusts – which take up a chunk of the viewing time as God punishes Pharaoh Ramses (Joel Edgerton) for his treatment of the Hebrews and his reluctance to free them – as well as snap–happy crocodiles and veritable rivers of blood and you have a film that is something of a special effects feast.
The grandstanding climax sees Moses finally lead the Hebrews away from Egypt and towards the promised land of Canaan, but with Ramses and a chariot–driving army hot on their heels.
Facing them is the Red Sea, which as all good Bible scholars know Moses (with a little help from God, who bemusingly appears to Moses in form of a young boy) manages to part. Bale is impressive and gently charismatic as Moses, whose beard gets bigger and more grungy as he takes on the mantle of leader of the Hebrews, while Edgerton is an increasinglyloopy Ramses.
But Scott doesn't really take advantage of his support cast.
Sigourney Weaver looks the part but has little to do as Ramses' mother Tuya.
Ben Kingsley plays a familiar but limited role as a Hebrew called Nun, who informs Moses of his true lineage; he is the child of Hebrew parents who was sent by his sister Miriam to be raised by Pharaoh's daughter (when we first meet Moses, he is a a general and member of the royal family), while Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul makes a modest impact as Joshua.
Nonetheless this is still a bible–thumpingblockbuster and cinema at thumpingblockbuster and cinema at its epic best.
HOLY WAR Christian Bale stars as Egyptian General Moses who clashes with Pharaoh Ramses, played by Joel Edgerton, in Ridley Scott's festive A–list offering, Exodus: Gods and Kings