Ridley Scott’s highly anticipated and controversial telling of the famous story of Moses and how he saved the Hebrews from their enslavement by the Pharaoh Ramses II, involving hella plagues, some cool chariot bits and Christian Bale.
OK, let’s dive straight into the controversy of the casting decisions. It does look awfully like the entire cast of speaking characters is white, with people of colour’s sole representation being as either slaves or thieves. Now on its own unfortunately this probably isn’t enough to spark up any anger: Hollywood have always done this, and very few eyelids have been batted. However what is different this time is that Ridley Scott has attempted to defend his casting decisions by saying “I can’t mount a film of this budget, where I have to rely on tax rebates in Spain, and say that my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such. I’m just not going to get it financed. So the question doesn’t even come up.” Yeah. He said that. So while everyone initially thought it was a bit of honest whitewashing as per usual, but now it would appear Ridley Scott is actually a massive racist and you shouldn’t pay for this movie, no matter how much you enjoy cgi locusts. What makes his casting decision worse is that neither Christian Bale nor Joel Edgerton (Ramses II) are especially good. Now I usually like Christian Bale and I think he’s a fantastic actor, but sometimes he can just go into shouty mode. And I have never seen him shoutier than in Exodus, even his whispers are shouty. Joel Edgerton is just a bit of a charisma vacuum.
The film does have some points of merit, so when one of your mates gets this on DVD you can watch it. These points of merit are all cgi related. The plaugues are all very impressive, there is one scene with some chariots on a mountain which is genuinely breath taking and the battles scenes are very good visually. Also Moses and God are not presented as glaringly positive they might have been, allowing the viewer to make their own minds up about whether they agree with God’s plans or not.
If you are thinking, Exodus would be a dead good movie then if it weren’t for the racism, think again. There is much more wrong with Exodus. It is also colossally boring in the non-plague/battle scenes, as I’ve mentioned the acting on the whole is poor although special mention must go to Isaac Andrews who plays what would appear to be the voice of god and is absolutely awful (I do mostly blame the script, but he is shockingly miscast here). Exodus is also laden with historical inaccuracies, more than I care to mention, if you are interested check out the imdb page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1528100/trivia?tab=gf&ref_=tt_trv_gf
Overall, if you want to watch it to see what all the fuss is about that’s fair enough, but whatever you do don’t pay for it. If you do, you are just fuelling the racism inherent in the big blockbuster industry.