Wednesday, January 7, 2015

An Old Testament Scholar reviews "Exodus: Gods and Kings"

Regarding the new Bible move, Exodus: Gods and Kings, all I can say is, Not only "no," but "hell no." Even as a generic fantasy movie (along the lines of Lord of the Rings) it is totally lame. As a retelling of the exodus story, it moves to horrid. As to what they got right: well there is a Pharaoh, and a Moses, and some slaves, and some plagues, and being caught between a sea and Pharaoh's army. But that's about it. It would be worth seeing only as an exercise in how to totally mangle a biblical story. It's not even their gap filling that I object to, though a lot of that was bad. It's what they left out. The aim seems to be to turn Moses into a fighting man. Here is my list of things that are wrong. It is by no means exhaustive.

The movie begins inexplicably with a battle between the Egyptians and the Hittites. Inexplicable because the major battle at Kadesh between those two armies took place during Ramesses II’s reign, not during his father’s. Plus there’s no mention of the eventual peace treaty signed between the two nations. The only point seems to be to establish both Moses and Ramesses fighting abilities and to round out one of the gap fills, an Egyptian prophecy that someone will save someone’s life, and then become king. During the battle Moses saves Ramesses. And that means what exactly?