I mean, it’s not terrible. It certainly looks fantastic, but when Ridley Scott is the director, you kind of have to assume it will. And I liked Joel Edgerton in the role of Pharoah. Christian Bale, on the other hand, seems way too intense for the role of Moses. The guy has become the go-to Hollywood actor for brooding, do-gooding characters with emotional trouble. (See Nolan’s Batman trilogy, Terminator: Salvation, 3:10 to Yuma, Reign of Fire.) I mean, anyone remember A Midsummer Night’s Dream? He was funny in that. Funny. Weird, huh?
Unlike Aronofsky’s Noah, which was unabashedly spiritual, this film feels the need to keep the “God stuff” kind of as a faint counterpoint to the political upheaval of a whole race of enslaved people rising up against their masters. God appears as a little kid, and is kind of a jerk to Moses. The burning bush is sort of a throwaway effect. I did like the idea that the plagues of Egypt were kind of a domino effect, one leading to the next. But even that serves to “demystify” a series of over-the-top miracles.
By the time the Red Sea has parted and both Moses and Pharoah survive the wall of water that falls on them, I realize that I’ve checked out so much, I don’t really even care. The extra ending with Bale in old guy makeup felt completely tacked on and superfluous.
All in all, this is a forgettable film.