Friday, 12 December 2014

Exodus: Gods and Kings Review

Note: The below review does contain spoilers, but nothing that I fell constitutes a spoiler giving how well known this story is.

Exodus: Gods and Kings as one may expect follows the tales of Moses a godless Egyptian prince who upon discovering his true parentage is exiled into the dessert where he meets his wife. One day Moses walks up a mountain that just so happens to be one that is forbidden by whilst trying to capture some stray sheep he presumably shepards. It is here that he meets 'god' who needs a general not a shepard and convinces Moses to return from his exile and see what had become of his enslaved people. Unsurprisingly upon returning matters are worse then before and he decides to take action with the help of 'god'.

Exodus: Gods and Kings is a film that I imagine many people will find offensive. It is directed by a man who has a very low opinion on religion and has treat the film as a simple story. In it god is shown as a largely thoughtless half wit who whilst incredibly powerful is unable to utilize his power in an effective manner and comes across and immoral and evil entity. Something that Moses in this film seems to agree with, but at no stage is it ever explained why. The characterisation for the most part is equally troubling. With few exceptions characters motivations seem to simply change with the changing requirements of the plot and few are giving enough screen time to be fully realized characters in their own right. This leads to the 'epic' scenes lacking any punch and being nothing more then a visual treat in the same way many enjoy brainless action spectacle films.

The cause would seem to be how rushed the film is. For example, the relationship between Moses and his wife is nothing more then them meeting at a water hole, exchanging no words, next Moses is meeting her father who asks numerous questions as she watches and then suddenly they are married. This lack of development is in part to the mostly passable but entirely unremarkable acting on display, but also that their simply where not enough scenes dedicated to developing important characters beyond Moses. Their is an early scene between Moses his sister and adoptive mother which is certainly a highlight that promises some dramatic punch, but neither are seen again and nor is the dramatic punch.

In many was Exodus: Gods and Kings is like Kingdom of Heaven. Both are directed by Ridley Scott that hope to have an 'epic' scope but are faltered by rushed pacing and story telling that skims over far to many important details. Hopefully Exodus: Gods and Kings get an extended edition that improves the film like Kingdom of Heaven had. But in its current state Exodus: Gods and Kings does not come recommended.

What about the 3d?
The 3d is simply put a rather mixed affair. Starting of rather mild it later pushes to rather heavy levels of depth. Whilst this heavier level of depth is certainly a nice trend to see in an industry that seems fearful of anything but mild 3d in years past the presentation here is also inconsistent with the levels of depth fluctuating wildly within the same scene and similar shoots. The result is a mostly competent 3d presentation that will certainly satisfy fans of the format, but will be unlikely to convert those who have yet to be convinced.

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