Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)

The Plague of CGI

Raised alongside Ramses, Moses becomes a great fighter and leader with Seti trusting him implicitly. But what Moses and Ramses are not aware of is that he is in fact a Hebrew who was found in a basket in the rushes as a baby. But when the truth comes out after Seti died and Ramses became king it leads to him leaving to wander the lands which is when on top of a mountain he receives the word of God. Empowered to try and lead his people out of slavery God brings 10 mighty plagues upon Ramses and his people to help force him into letting his people go.

The first thing which struck me about "Exodus: Gods and Kings" was that this was a movie where knowing the bible story first certainly helps as I watched it with someone who didn't and was at times left confused. And I will admit that whilst I knew what was going on there were times that I struggled to fill in the gaps which the movie leaves when it comes to events in the story. And to be honest whilst a lot of "Exodus: Gods and Kings" seems to be about the wow factor of the special effects there are times where it seems to get distracted by focusing on the less than pivotal parts of the story.

Joel Edgerton in Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)

Now maybe movie making has got to the point where the wow factor delivered by special effects no longer has any power or at least not the power to impress you more than the last CGI enhanced movie. This was the case for me as despite having a great look be it the mountains, the towering buildings or thousands of people crossing a river none of it really impressed me that much. In truth I would have been a lot more impressed if this movie had been old school epic with thousands of extras and great stunts rather than relying on the CGI.

Of course there is the acting and the little issue of white actors in roles of other nationalities. Now I can see both sides of the argument as whilst the likes of Bale and Edgerton are certainly a draw for audiences, part of me wished for more authenticity. And truth be told most of the acting from the big name actors was pretty forgettable and ordinary with Bale in particular seeming unable to bring his character to life. Here is the worst thing as what I will remember "Exodus: Gods and Kings" for is the utterly wrong decision to cast Ewen Bremner, with his strong Scottish accent, as an expert, it is simply ludicrous decision.

What this all boils down to is that "Exodus: Gods and Kings" was despite lasting two and a half hours not the epic experience I had been expecting and in a world of big budget, big CGI movies this one almost felt like it was going through the motions. But that makes me question more whether we have reached the pinnacle of what special effects can do for a movie.