Gods, Kings, and Ridley Scotts

I watched Exodus: Gods and Kings last night. The biblical account is a very powerful story, and I believe historically relevant. Ridley Scott’s is a secular view of the biblical account. Joe Carter wrote for The Gospel Coalition:

After watching Exodus: Gods and Kings you’ll complain about wasting your time and money, so you might as well do it from the comfort of your own living room.

He is suggesting you wait till the movie is available for home entertainment if you plan to see it. He’s right. Many people have and will complain that it is “such a waste.”

I don’t agree with all of Mr. Carter’s points, though. For one, he says this film ignores the source material, and for another, it lacked the director’s brilliant visual style. I think Exodus was actually a great credit to Hollywood’s desire to present an authentic visual representation of Egypt, the Hebrews, and the times and places of the story. And I think that much of this movie has brilliant visuals, not unlike Gladiator.

But at the end of the day, either you care about this film because it is a Ridley Scott film, or you care about it because you are a Christian, or both.[1] I’m in the last of the three groups, and as such, I think this film is a disappointment for Scott’s fans and the Bible’s. Not enough of the source material was followed, and this film lacks the character and nuance of Ridley’s better films.

I just checked the critics’ assessment on Rotten Tomatoes. Not too surprisingly…

While sporadically stirring, and suitably epic in its ambitions, *Exodus: Gods and Kings* can’t quite live up to its classic source material.

But what is a little jarring is that I’m not alone in my opinion. Critics in general gave Exodus 28% and the general audience gives it 40%. That is worse than Wolfgang Petersen’s Troy and Ridley’s Kingdom of Heaven, which I would say are relatable films.

  1. I guess you might be Muslim or a Jew and interested in it for your own set of religious reasons, but I can’t speak to them from experience. Carter points out that the name, Moses, appears more times in the Qur’an than it does in the Old Testament.  ↩

Joe Darnell

Joe is a UI and graphic designer with prior experience as the creative director for three media-based businesses. Joe’s passionate about web design and graphic design with about 15 years of experience in the media industry. Additionally, Joe is the host of the Top Brew and Techtonic podasts, both featured on iTunes.