As an opener, I have to say that I’m a HUGE Ridley Scott fan, so writing a less than sterling review of his work pains me, but I’m being honest here.
The history is stretching things a bit. The Biblical touch is stretching things a bit. As a result, you have a movie that’s not as faithful to either story as it could have been.
The acting was first rate. I have no problem with the characters or in the casting. I think that was the best part of the film. Second best was costuming and armor, which we know a lot about because of the tombs that Egypt left behind.
Beyond that the whole thing became strained. As a story teller, you are shackled to the Biblical account. As a movie maker, you have to show the story in a way that will be more human and more interesting than the account in the Book of Exodus. You need to build the plot in a way that makes characters more than two dimensional.
I give the movie a 6 . 5 out of a possible 10. The acting saved it from being a 4.
To be fair, Christian Bale made a good Moses – Charlton Heston made a more dramatic Moses. Sigourney Weaver — did her usual good job but her part was remarkably small for such a talent. More than anything, she was on set…almost a walk-on.
If you’re going to do an epic like this, you have to either do a multi-episode movie or you need to do a mini-series. The scope is simply too big and the character development too complex. It’s like making Star Wars in one, two-hour feature.
There are holes in the story, big holes in the pursuit of the Children of Israel, etc. But they had to tell the story in a very short time and that’s how it all fell out.
The movie is bound to irritate Jews, Christians, and atheists. LSP, let me know if Blue Israelite barks when he sees the film. Dogs didn’t play a prominent role in the movie and I’m sure that there is a dog lover’s lobby that will complain.