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I hated this movie, pretty much from start to protracted finish.

While
Ridley Scott is undoubtedly a visual artist and does epic vistas and
battle scenes on a grand and sweeping scale, this could only slightly
offset a truly horrible mess of a script and a frustrating, confusing and
frankly rather blasphemous interpretation of the Moses story.
Scott's distinctive visual style apart, I thought every other part of this
movie was bad and I started to check out after 30 minutes. By the hour
mark, I was completely gone and then had to suffer another hour and a
half of turgid melodrama.
Casting was terrible. John Turturro as Pharoah was a horrible choice I
thought, as well as Joel Edgerton as Ramses and Ben Mendehlson as
an Egyptian governor. Admittedly Edgerton is a very fine actor but he
just seemed out of place here, had the wrong look for it. Christain Bale
was the only casting decison which made sense to me.
Accents were all over the place too. To watch Australian and American
actors play ancient Egyptians in a sort of 'faux British' accent was
somewhat baffling and then you had Christian Bale, an Englishman,
playing an ancient hebrew in an American accent... truly astonishing.
Then there were good actors like Ben Kingsley as Nun, Sigourney
Weaver as the Queen and Aaron Paul as Joshua who had barely
anything to do throughout - completely wasted as characters. Ben
Kingsley in particular was set up very strongly then all but disappeared
for the rest of the film. Likewise Moses' bond with his wife and son was
set up strongly then they disaapeared completely til the end of the film.
Miriam appeared in one scene and then disappeared, and Aaron was
almost a non-entity.
I think the decision to focus on Ramses and Moses was a seriously
wrong choice. It left all the other characters underdeveloped. It was
Moses' story and the people around him should have been fleshed out
more. Instead it cribbed shamelessly from Gladiator, with the dying King
favouring his non legitmate (but more capable) son over the rightful heir.
Then, when the King dies, the rightful heir takes over and turns bad,
forcing the illegitmate but more worthy son into exile. To me, this trying
to create a dramatic premise which had very little to do with the Biblical
story. Also, having Moses as a great General I think was again a very
'Hollywood' but completely non-biblical choice. The scene where Moses
saves Ramses life in battle was so telegraphed and ham-fisted it
seemed total cliche and actually bore little relation to the rest of the film
as Moses never ended up ruling over Ramses.

Also, committing to the choice of Moses as a great war General driven
into exile, meant when he came back to Egypt he started organising the
Jewish rabble into hardened fighting troops instead of going to see
Pharaoah as in the Bible. Again I thought this was a terrible and
completely non-Biblical choice. In this movie Moses never even went to
Pharaoah in his court and said 'Let my people go', instead he puts a
sword to his throat in the stables and threatens war. The, after an inital
foray, Moses goes into hiding and goes completely quiet while watching
his Jewish compatriots being hung. Having an inactive protagonist like
this is just dramatic death as well as going against everything in the
Biblical account.
This film portrays Moses as a vacillating, unconvinced, stumbling man,
unsure whether he has faith or not. He even leaves his Staff at home
with his son, whereas in the Biblical account God specifically tells
Moses to use his Staff in Pharoah's court, and he is fully obedient to
God and is full of faith and power. But the convention of needing a
protagnist to have an 'arc', meant they kept Moses vacillating until the
very end as he discovers faith finally at the Red Sea. Again, very
Hollywood, but not at all Biblical.
I could see what Scott was trying to do, I just entirely disagree with it.
He was trying to show a less cliche version of Moses than the 'Ten
Commandments' version in the 1950's, a more complex, doubting, frail,
human version, and kudos for that but I feel he went way too far the
other way. He almost actively had Moses have very little faith in God
after the burning bush, only committed to the human goal of freeing his
people one way or another. This is pasting a very humanistic viewpoint
over what is by it's very essence, a non humanistic story. Even with the
plagues and miracles, Scott attempted to have a bob each way, trying
to explain them happening just from scientific or ecological viewpoints,
but then having to change gears and show the killing of the first born as
truly miraculous because there was no way to 'explain' that away. And
the climactic scene, the parting of the Red Sea... first Moses used his
staff, but here he throws his sword in... next it clearly says the water
stood up in two great columns and the Israelites passed through the
middle. Here, the tide just gradually recedes to create a dry sea bed
and then a storm comes to create a big tidal wave... then the wave
sweeps BOTH Moses and Ramses away, and WORSE, Ramses then
survives... though for no particualr reason, just to wander the beach at
the end. Again Hollywood, not Biblical.
But all these factual errors and wrong choices aren't the worst of
Exodus' 'sins' in my opinion. What I found truly appalling was the
depiction of God and his relationship to Moses.

I don't have a problem with God being depicted as a ten year old boy
per se, it was his attitude and language which I found very 'off'. He was
somewhat whiny and bratty and vengeful and spiteful... just with
superhuman powers. There was no love or compassion. This is not the
God I know but it is all too often how people like to portray God... as
nasty, vengeful and spiteful...
And Moses' relationship with God... testy, untrusting, argumentative and
resentful. Again, not from my reading of the Bible. After the encounter at
the burning bush, Moses, although initially hesitant, is a truly
transformed man of faith and power, fully trusting God. Even in the
burning bush scene we see Scott's need to 'change things up'. He has
Moses slipping over in a mudslide, breaking his leg and lying almost
submerged in the mud, turning his head to one side to see the boy who
has appeared. In the Bible God says to him, 'take off your sandals for
you are standing on Holy Ground' so I'm not quite sure how Moses
could be lying in a pool of mud at that point. I think the filmmakers need
to override convention and 'dirty it up', make it more human, completely
subverts authenticity and veracity, which I personally found very, very
annoying. A non-cliched telling of Moses' story could have been done
without the need to subvert absolutely everything in the Biblical account
at every point. That to me just represents a deliberate contrariness for
it's own sake and is counter-productive.
In the end, I have to say, with both Noah and Exodus, if you are going
to tell those stories, you don't have to resort to total cliche, but I think it
is good to remain faithful to the spirit and broad facts behind them.
Neither of these movies did that in my opinion and if it hadn't been for
the Studios being nervous about hos the 'Christian' audience would
recieve them and therefore bringing in consultants, they would have
diverged far more. If the filmmakers wanted to tell a different story than
the Biblical one, why not have the courage to make up their own one
rather than piggybacking off an established one many hold sacred but
twisting it to suit their own worldview.
Well, that's just my opinion anyway... anyone is free to disagree and I
expect they will.