I was hoping this would be a kind of live action The Prince of Egypt, but instead I got a watered down version of the Exodus story. Admittedly, the special effects and CGI are excellent but the film makers are evidently trying to please the non-believer crowd by offering a version of the plagues that seem to have more mundane causes rather than being a divine act. Of course, this won’t hold all the way through, as the last plague has absolutely no explanation but that the Angel of Death passed over Egypt. That part was done very well, and I applaud the director for underplaying it and actually exercising some restraint. Moses at first tries to start a guerrilla style war to free the Hebrews, which is naturally an epic fail, and God then tells Moses simply to watch while He takes over and the plagues begin in earnest. This is an incredibly intense and dramatic story from the Old Testament, but this version manages to reduce it to ho-hum status. Yes, it’s interesting, but in trying to please both the believers and the non-believers, they’ve pleased none of them. The narrative is meandering and ambiguously hazy, Moses never really finds his faith (and may possibly be insane, talking to someone who isn’t there) and the ending is most unsatisfactory. There were parts throughout that were well done and the acting performances were excellent (Joel Edgerton’s delivery of his last line “Ramses. The Great” was phenomenal!). But in the end, I was unmoved and when the subject material is such an important and exciting story from the Old Testament, I should have been very moved but instead was left with an overwhelming sense of ‘meh’. This movie has been banned by many Muslim countries, but I say it should be banned here for simply doing such a poor job of storytelling. Do yourself a favor and skip this latest Hollywood fiasco and instead watch either The Prince of Egypt or The Ten Commandments. – BETHANY
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Joel Edgerton as Ramses. He’s almost unrecognizable!
I don’t think I’ve seen another version of this story that went into such detail with the costumes.
No Peacocks were harmed in the making of this headdress. Sigourney Weaver as Tuya.
Sir Ben Kingsley as Nun.
Photos courtesy of Chernin Entertainment, Scott Free Productions, Babieka, Volcano Films and 20th Century Fox