Leaving aside the problematic racial casting involved in Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings – and it is difficult to leave that aside – let us consider the movie based upon its own merits. We have an undoubtedly hefty cast with Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, and Ben Kingsley taking lead roles, backed up by the likes of Sigourney Weaver and John Turturro. We have a director with a good track record for producing epics, and a story that is certainly more epic than most. So far, so good. Now we can turn to the recently released trailer for the film and see what it all looks like.
Unfortunately, it does not look very good at all. There’s a lot of shouting and portentous pronouncements that one would expect from an overheated Biblical epic. There are plagues a-plenty, as Egypt is overrun with locusts, frogs, and, um, sea-monsters? Joel Edgerton screams, Christian Bale screams, the slaves are freed, the seas are parted. But if this trailer represents some of the best footage from Exodus: Gods and Kings, then we need not have worried about the racial issues: this movie already sucks.
Is it unfair to judge a movie based upon its trailer? Yes, it most certainly is, and if I could find any modicum of interest in this trailer and the film it represents, I would be willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps Exodus is much better than what is on offer here; given the excellent cast Scott collected for this outing, one would hope so. But I do not hold out much hope on this score. This looks like a big, dumb action movie with religious underpinnings.
Exodus: Gods and Kings comes to theatres on December 12. You can watch the latest trailer below and decide for yourself if you want to spend the money. Frankly, I’d rather watch The Ten Commandments.