There are a lot of great stories out there, and just as many movies that have been made with those stories. No book though has provided as many stories as the Good Book, and whether you believe in those stories or not is for another discussion, the stories though are great. While many movies have been made, they are all compared to “The Ten Commandants” and the performance of Charlton Heston as Moses. A lot of things have changed since that movie was made in 1956, things like values, and technology, the later of which would allow you to tell the tale on a more epic scale.
Now you might say how could anything be on more epic than “The Ten Commandants” and my answer is have you seen what they can add with computers to a movie today? Where you had a cast of thousands were used, some who even wore wristwatches, this film can take a few and make it look like hundreds of thousands. As great as you can make something look, just like a book you can’t judge a movie by its cover. If you don’t know the story, I would be surprised, but for the few who do not know it, here is the run down. Moses (Christian Bale) is the cousin of Rameses (Joel Edgerton), who is the son of Seti (John Turturro), the pharaoh of Egypt. Things are great until Moses is told that he is a Hebrew, a story that is soon told to Rameses. Moses is sent into exile, and becomes a goat shepherded, where he lives a quite life, until God visits him, and tells him he needs to lead his people to freedom, Moses does what he is asked to do, and leads his people back to their homeland.
2014 might go down as the year for stories of Biblical figures. With “Noah” already gracing us with its presence early this year, now might be the perfect time for a story about Moses. “Noah” drew criticisms for the liberties it took with the story, “Exodus” is drawing different complaints, and mainly the choice in it’s casting to portray its lead characters. While “Ten Commandments” got away with it, you have to remember it was 1956 and things were just a little different, and the world was a lot smaller. Nowadays everything is under a microscope, and not for the reason mentioned above. When you have nothing to compare something to, it is easy to accept something as great, but in “Exodus’s” case, you have “Ten Commandments” hovering over it. While “Ten Commandments” was campy, that is what added to its classic status, and the reason why so many people still watch it every Christmas. “Exodus” is big and grand but not all in a good way. Sure the special effects look great, as you watch the seven plagues being unleashed on Egypt. A story though is only as good as its ends, and in “Exodus” case those ends are the weaker points of the stories. The performances are good enough and director Ridley Scott brings his expertise on epics with him. With all that said, “Exodus” is not the Biblical story that some might want, and while it does not beat home the faith part of the story, it does leave you believing in something. That Ridley Scott needs to lay off the big budget fare and maybe take a step back to a smaller scale. And I don’t mean “Blade Runner 2”.