Let me just get straight to the point: most disappointing movie I’ve ever seen. If you’re familiar with any of my other posts, you know I’m a harsh critic. But this, this was a complete disaster. I’ll start from the beginning and proceed with the bashing. I will not hold back so beware. If in the midst of any this you decide I am too harsh, continue reading. By the end, I assure you that you will agree at least a little with me.
First: THERE ARE SPOILERS. READ NO FURTHER IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE MOVIE. IF YOU PREFER TO READ HERE TO DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT TO WATCH THIS MOVIE, READ AT YOUR OWN RISK. THAT SAID…
I was late to the movie and I was bummed. I told myself I’d come early before one my shifts and watch the beginning. I’d catch up later. Besides, anybody who knows the story of Moses knows the beginning. If you don’t, there’s this thing called the Bible. Read it. I’ll give some credit for “mistakes and embellishments” due to seeing Noah earlier this year. If you don’t remember Noah, let me refresh you:
1. Noah was not an angry man. At all.
2. Noah did not bar his sons from getting married so that human could die out and only animals would be left.
3. In the Bible, Noah and his sons were all married with children and the likes.
4. The second son didn’t somehow harbor the bad guy on the boat. The bad guy didn’t eat any of the animals either.
I get it. No book has ever been made into a movie the right way. But Exodus? Exodus was atrocious. And here’s why:
1. Why the heck is this movie named Exodus? Exodus is an entire chapter in the Bible. This only covered Moses. God‘s and Kings didn’t really fit either. There was like two seconds of God in this movie.
3. Acting was terrible. I had to go home and watch Prince of Egypt.
4. I missed the initial scene of baby Moses in the basket but I’m sure it couldn’t have been anything spectacular. We walked in on the part when Moses was already grown up in the palace. He was Ramses second in command, his advisor. Their father is dying. Moses ventures off to one of the slave’s houses where he learns the truth about his birth. He ends up killing two guards (?).
5. Ramses finds out as well and pulls Miriam and questions her. He threatens to cut off her arm and Moses saves her by shouting yes to all accusations. Ramses is convinced that Moses just didn’t want the woman’s arm cut off rather than being a Hebrew by birth. (Not in the Bible, although he is exiled because of being a Hebrew).
6. But soon after, Moses ventures out into the desert. He happens upon the well and automatically you know who he’s going to take as his wife. So far so good. When he arrives back at the house, the father interrogates him like a boyfriend that was previously nonexistent. The Bible: his future wife, the eldest daughter, tells the father to let Moses stay because he saved them. Moses goes on to help the father, eventually falls in love with the daughter, and they marry.
7. Five seconds later, they’re married! If you have no idea how the Bible story laid out, you’ll be thoroughly confused in the movie. Besides that, the burning bush (a pinnacle aspect of Moses that everyone equates with Moses) comes before the marriage. That said, all of a second, it’s 9 years later.
8. Ramses is a horrible ruler. Good, that’s accurate. Back with Moses, who has a son, he inquires about a random mountain. The son tells him that the mountain is sacred and the wife, later on, berates Moses to not confuse their son’s religion. Okay…
9. Moses’ three lambs (Bible: only one lamb) run up the mountain. It’s raining and a mudslide begins. Moses gets bashed on the head with rocks. He wakes up covered in a layer of mud, except for his face. Ah, the burning bush! We’re here. But a little monk looking kid appears. Apparently he’s the messenger of God and this is when I lost it.
Moses walked up the mountain (with a staff!!!! where’s the staff???) to retrieve his lamb. But he came upon a talking burning bush, NOT a messenger. God told him he was standing on holy ground and Moses proceeded to take off his sandals. God told him to go back and save his people. Moses doesn’t trust God and wonders how he (Moses) could lead his people to freedom. God says he’ll give him the power. He returns and tries to make his family understand… (weird Hollywood producers).
10. Moses returns, sick and supposedly out of his mind. His wife doesn’t believe him and when he decides to leave. His wife says, “I’d trade my faith if it meant you’d stay.” Who says that?????? That was never in the Bible. Sure she was probably heartbroken but Moses made it clear that he was doing the will of God. His wife was cool with that. (I’ll give some credit to Hollywood. It’s accurate that his wife stayed home. I think that’s two points for Hollywood now, right?)
11. Moses returns to the slaves. Their reaction? “Yo, where you been? Awesome, you’re home.” That’s not what happened. The Bible: Moses returns and everyone hates him. He’s not royalty but he’s also doesn’t associate himself with being a slave or that they’re his people. To them, he abandoned them to live in luxury. And when exiled, he left them all to the Pharaoh. He has to win their trust and it’s going to take all his faith to melt Pharaoh’s heart of stone in order to set them free. .
12. They start training for war (not in the Bible?) and Ramses starts killing families each day because he can’t find Moses. About a week later (I have no idea because there is no time capsule at the moment), the Hebrews attack the Egyptian families. Maybe (in some parallel universe), the Egyptians will plead with Ramses to set the Hebrews free. Not likely. In fact, Ramses doubles work and takes away necessities that are needed for building.
Moses never led a rebellion. He came in with his staff, humbled and started doing the plague thing. Hollywood messed that up as well. There were ten plagues, all of which were forewarned to Ramses. Plagues in order: Water to Blood, Frogs, Gnats/Lice, Flies, Livestock Diseased, Boils, Thunder and Hail, Locusts, Darkness, and Death of the Firstborn.
13. Here’s the movie version: Moses is still talking to the invisible messenger which Aaron (his brother/Biblically accurate – Where’s Miriam??? Oh right, he sent them away or something in the beginning of the movie…) witnesses. I don’t know if Aaron thinks he’s crazy or jealous that Moses is talking with God. In all of this Moses does not believe (accurate ish) and demands answers. After destroying Egyptian homes, he’s like, “See what I did? I’m awesome!” The boy goes, “Ha ha, you’re not. That was stupid. Sit back and watch me.” In all of this, the boy is way to young and I hate hearing how his talking hasn’t developed yet. It ruined the whole messenger effect that they were trying to run with.
14. The plagues! There was no warning. All of a sudden, they begin (after of course, Moses berates the little boy that things aren’t working). Alligators show up in the nile and destroy some of the fishers and then begin eating each other, turning the Nile red. The Bible: Moses uses his staff (HIS STAFF!!!) and dips it into the Nile in front of Ramses and other important people and the Nile turns red. This is when Ramses doubles the work. Not to mention, when Moses first confronts Ramses when he’s back, he tells Ramses to let them go. He tries to show Ramses that God is with him by turning his staff into a snake and back again. movie version? Moses shows up with a knife at Ramses throat in the stables (while slaves are stealing horses right under the guy’s nose) and tells him to back off. No? Ok, fine.
15. All of the other plagues follow, meshed into each other. Another part that Hollywood did well was the guy who was trying to find explanations of all these plagues scientifically. After every plague, Ramses would turn to his adviser. 3 pts for Gryffindor! Oh wait, nevermind. Wrong movie.
16. Moses finds his boy messenger, “This is stupid. Things are getting worse and I can’t sit by while the people I grew up with are-” Messenger, “What about the slaves? You still don’t see them as your people, do you? Cool, I’ll show you.” Aaron is still watching Moses talk to himself. You hear Moses, “I’ll have no part of this.” Moses shows up at Ramses house, “Protect your kid. You can’t kill me. Your own guards let me in here. Ha ha. Take that!”
17. Moses returns and says, “Hey, kill a lamb and smear the blood on your door.” Another head guy goes, “Why?” “If I’m wrong, pity the lamb. If not, we’ll bless the lamb forever.” What the-? No, Moses was very clear as to why to smear the lamb blood. It was a sacrifice in change for the eldest son’s life of every family. Of course everyone follows suite.
18. Ramses confronts Moses, “You killed my son! How could you follow a God like that?” “None of the Hebrew boys died. Ha, in your face!” Ramses after a moment, “Get out!” (Accurate!) They’re finally leaving. Ramses goes back on his word though and takes off after them.
19. And this is where Hollywood made its biggest mistake. If you don’t know Moses, you know the parting of the Red Sea. That’s probably the only thing that you know of this story by heart. Moses parted the red sea with his staff. By now, he was trusting in God but in the movie, still no trust. “Where are you God? Why have you abandoned us?” Blah Blah Blah. The slaves reach the Nile and rest. Moses, angry at no solution throws his sword into the sea which happens to land upright. When he wakes up, the tide has gone down considerably. He goes and picks up his sword as the water kind of washes away to one side, out of sight. What the heck? There was supposed to be some parting of water and walls on each side of the slaves as they walked through. The Bible: in the walls of water, fish could be seen still swimming. oh wait, that was prince of Egypt. (Hollywood, you couldn’t even keep up with a cartoon????)
20. They walk across to their freedom. Ramses is not far behind and rushes in. (ramses never goes in there but whatever, I’m ready for disappointment). Moses turns around with some warriors as everyone else rushes to safety. They’re about to clash like a 300 type of battle. Then they look to the side and Baam! there’s some weird hurricane brewing. The water is coming back in a wave!!!! (So inaccurate. So disappointed.) Ramses’ guys turns back and so do Moses’. They rush at each other and then stop, staring. Moses, “You don’t have to do this. Come with me.” Haha, there was no confrontation in the Bible. The water takes them both. Moses ends up on his side and Ramses on his. Ramses hates the fact that all his people’s died. (Accurate). Aaron hesitates before talking to Moses. Moses, “Oh, there’s no one here.” Moses, you aren’t crazy. Well you are, you’re talking to a little boy.
21. Went back for his wife and kid. “Hey, got some visitors. These are my people’s. They can stay right?” Wife nods and they all continue their venture on to the promised land.
22. Cool, now we’re on the edge of Canaan. But if you don’t know the story, again, you’re lost. Canaan is the promised land, the one they’re traveling to. The people turn to other gods and build a golden calf to worship. Moses goes onto the mountain and writes the Ten Commandments. The little boy’s watching over him again. Wrong!!!! The Bible: Moses goes onto the mountain and pleads to God. God writes him some commandments. Moses goes down the mountain and gets angry and breaks them. He returns to the mountain and God writes him another set. On top of that, somewhere in there, God shows his backside to Moses, in all his glory. Moses is temporarily blinded.
23. Movie ends with them traveling to Canaan. Moses is in one of those royalty carts, protecting the commandments (accurate ish). He sees the little boy and then doesn’t. The end.
Yo, Hollywood, you screwed up one of the most powerful stories the Bible has to offer. On top of that, your version sucked. If you had even used half of the real story, it would have been so much more visually powerful and made for a much stronger plot. Moses in and of itself comes off as one of the most unbelievable yet heartwarming? Old Testament stories there is. The facts alone give the story a boost over so many others. And yet, Hollywood took a turn for the worst, cutting out all of the aspects that would have captured everyone.
I guess Hollywood will learn when you see that Hunger Games will still beat the proceeds off this movie. Bale’s version comes off cheap and studied incorrectly. Many reports tell that this Moses was more military and more a terrorist. Bale’s comments didn’t help. He certainly seems less knowledgeable than some people might think.
Bashing incomplete but I’m sure you all are tired of my incessant rant.
Here’s a potato:
If you don’t get the potato reference, you’re missing out:)