12 Weird Ideas from Exodus: Gods and Kings

12 Weird Ideas from Exodus: Gods and Kings

When Moses was 80 years old, he looked like Christian Bale!

A crocodile attack was the 11th plague! For those who didn’t read the book, there wasn’t an 11th plague. The movie was doing ok until the CGI feeding frenzy. According to the screenplay, this caused nine of the other ten plagues.

Moses sneaks up on Pharaoh with a knife, and they talk about Egyptian economics. I suppose it could have happened. Maybe, no one thought it was important enough to include in the Bible. Unfortunately, the movie didn’t include any of the recorded conversations.

 God was portrayed as an 8 yo boy with issues. The God scenes were reminiscent of Chuckie. The person of God was treated so weird, it didn’t seem blasphemous; it seemed clueless. All of the god scenes left me confused by the level of misunderstanding.

 3500 years ago, Arabian women had prison tattoos on their faces. It was a good look, and who knows what the style was in Arabia 3k years ago.

8 y.o. God served Moses tea while Moses chiseled the Ten Commandments. Really?

Moses ran a military boot camp for slaves. They took breaks from their forced labor to practice archery, and they even formed a cavalry club. Apparently, Moses was the first Spartacus without Spartacus’ convenient excuse for training.

exodus-empire-mosesjoshua

But… Egyptians didn’t ride horses!?! The movie showed lots of horses with bridles, bits, stirrups, and saddles. I knew the gear was wrong, but I was surprised to learn that Egyptians didn’t ride horses at all! When they traveled by horse, they used chariots. There were some nice chariots in the movie, and I noticed two camels near the end of the movie.

Noah showed up to help the Israelites cross the red sea! Just kidding! I was hoping for that. This was a fitting sequel to Noah. We are living in the golden age of weird Bible adaptations.

Although the Hebrews crossed the Sea on land, Moses had to swim. Somehow the swim helped with the plot or something.

Did Jews, Arabs, and Egyptians really want to be in this movie? Before the movie was released there was a protest about using an all white cast. In one scene, Pharaoh obviously slipped into an Irish or Scottish accent. I feel bad pointing that out because Pharoah’s character was the best character in the movie.

Courtly Manners

The King of England would have felt at home in Pharaoh’s court in more ways than one. The Egyptian royal court was very courtly. There was no sense of Pharoah being a god-king or dictator. Like the romantic ideology stated many times by Moses and his wife, it didn’t seem to fit the time and place.

Summing Up

The screenwriters and director didn’t love the story of Moses. They didn’t even love the story they wrote. The movie is a cheap shot. It isn’t a shot at religion. It is a cheap shot at making money. It is a fantasy movie with mid-quality CGI. The religious name is being used to make a few more million dollars.

I wanted to like this movie, and I didn’t need it to be deeply religious. No one really knows what life was like 3500 years ago. Anyone with enough time to study the question, is probably too privileged to really sympathize with the level of dirt, drudgery, and danger common in ancient times. Nonetheless, movies are an amazing way to appreciate a different place and time. I forgave many of the movie’s faults, and I was rooting for the movie… until the crocodile smorgasbord.

After 60 years, Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments is still being played every Easter. In three years, actors will try to get this movie off their IMDB bio.

DeMille used every verse of the Exodus story and incorporated it into the movie. I carefully read Exodus before watching The Ten Commandments, and I was amazed at how he added depth and thought to each verse. For example, Moses spent 40 years in the Arabian desert after killing the Egyptian. He got married during this period, and it must have been a change from living as a prince of Egypt. When reading Exodus, I merely acknowledged this, but DeMille helped me to imagine and appreciate it. That type of reflection happens again and again throughout The Ten Commandments movie.

A few friends of mine just watched The Ten Commandments for the first time. Unfortunately, they thought it was melodramatic, and that is coming from people who love Downton Abbey.