Mixed ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ Reviews Have Landed
Mixed 'Exodus: Gods and Kings' Reviews Have Landed
Ridley Scott is never a director to be underestimated, though it has been a while since sword-and-sandal epic “Gladiator” won five Oscars including Best Picture in 2001. Now the director returns to period adventure mode (see “Kingdom of Heaven” and “Robin Hood”) with a big-budget biblical spectacular.
See a range of reviews below.
Might it turn out as non-kosher as Noah, 2014’s other Old Testament epic? Yet the final film, released in the UK on Boxing Day, looks set down to slip down if not a treat, then certainly smoother than anticipated. It is half turkey, half triumph – with an odour to match.
What’s remarkable about Scott’s genuinely imposing Old Testament psychodrama is the degree to which he succeeds in conjuring a mighty and momentous spectacle — one that, for sheer astonishment, rivals any of the lavish visions of ancient times the director has given us — while turning his own skepticism into a potent source of moral and dramatic conflict.
Scott’s overlong adaptation of the Old Testament’s second book with a squinty-eyed Christian Bale in the Moses role feels like a missed opportunity for the director to flex his fantastical tendencies. After all, what are the 10 plagues if not an alien invasion story?
Instead, this telling of Moses’ deflection from the Egyptian kingdom that raised him in order to take on God’s orders and free the Israelites from slavery is strictly by the book. Still, there’s no doubting its impressive scale: With no shortage of fire and brimstone, it borrows heavily from the Cecil B. Demille playbook, presenting a CGI-filled ancient Egypt with appropriate grandiosity.
This stodgy adaptation creaks with solemnity — not to mention reactionary casting choices — and apart from some nifty frog and locust infestations, even the special effects pale next to a wind-blown Charlton Heston parting the Red Sea.