Wee Scoops

Measure for Measure

Review: Exodus – Gods and Kings


Well, that was a good workout Moses got.

I’m not sure why the director thought that the whole “burning bush” moment should come when Moses was entirely submerged in mud, save for his eyes, nose and mouth.

Then there was the depiction of God. Moses had been hit in the head by falling rocks and then was about to drown in mud, then he sees the burning bush – which was a burning bush. Instead of going with the traditional story, the voice of the bush was played by a young boy who spoke God’s lines, sort of.

Actually, the speaking in this movie was one of its main problems – although it was entertaining. Moses’s cliché to his wife: “I haven’t been entirely honest with you” seemed self-consciously anachronistic, as did other lines in the movie.

The accents too, were all over the place. They might have done better going with the “Amistad” and “The Kite Runner” strategy. They could have had it in Arabic (or whatever the ancient Egyptians spoke) and Hebrew with English subtitles. I loved the Scottish guy in it who was an expert in plagues, though. Quite funny.

Zipporah’s make-up was very 21st Century. Moses was looking suitably like you would expect Moses to look. Maybe that was a thing though – the marriage to Zipporah was all a bit modern – the dialogue, the parenting differences, the expectations – she was a bit incongruous in every way. Pretty well turned out for a peasant.

I was worried when Moses went off piste a little and set about burning Egypt with military might – it almost lapsed into “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.” Fortunately the script got back on course, almost when the plagues started.

Except it kicked off with a plague of crocodiles.

But then it went more traditional: blood, flies, frogs, locusts, boils, darkness, plague on the animals etc.

The plague on the firstborn and the Passover was well done.

All that was left was the oft-asked question:

How did Moses cross the Red Sea?

It was a discarded sword rather than a staff. It was Moses hitting rock bottom and becoming humble that brought that about, then he awoke to find the sea disappearing, being sucked away.

So, not the “dry land” of the Bible story.

Instead of the two walls of water in the original epic, there was a tsunami that, both Moses and Rameses managed to escape, which was unlikely, even in the context of miracles.

All in all the settings were great. Egypt looking imposing and under constant construction contrasted by the ramshackly Hebrew quarter. Great mountain scenes and desert landscapes.

Characters were way off. Moses was overconfident where in Exodus he lacks self belief. God was in the form of a human boy that only Moses could see. But it was good to see Nun and Joshua there, as they should be.

The plot was recognizable, which was a relief, although it took a long time for the plot to really get going. Too much preamble, not enough focus on the plagues, which could have been staggered.

And the moral of the story?

I think the moral of the story comes with the form of the story: epic. That the narrative was 400 years coming and building up to a couple of thousand years after. Moses struggled with God’s actions and wanted to distance himself from them, but God’s justice was seen to be on an epic scale working well outside the lifespans of the characters.

Right. Now I have said what I thought, I’ll see what reviews are online and see what everyone else thought.


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7 thoughts on “Review: Exodus – Gods and Kings

  1. Enjoyed your review and am already looking forward to the Scottish plague expert – and the crocs. Have you seen Noah yet? Compared to that “epic” this seems Academy Award stuff 😉 (And if you have seen it, I would love to read your review!)

    • Yes we saw noah 🙂 theres a review in weescoops somewhere!

      • And what did you make of the fallen angels????

      • I thought the rock monsters were a very very tenuous reference to the nephilim: “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days – and also afterwards – when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.” from Genesis 6? Were they fallen angels? My memory of it is hazy. Did they all get zapped with lightening at one point and redeemed? (Maybe I’ll have to watch it again!) I thought they were … unexpected… but they would have been handy to have around if you were going to build an ark singlehandedly with a tight time frame.

  2. I haven’t felt any desire to see it, nor my husband. I really like your review and it reinforces my decision to wait until it is on HBO. The casting decisions bothered me enough to not want to see it,

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