First off I must saw that no one is ever going to come close to the “Ten Commandments” with Charlton Heston. Yet this film puts a bit of a modern twist technically to a story that takes several privileges to the written words of the tale of Moses as filmed so many years ago.
Set in 1300 BCE, for 400 years the Hebrew people have been slaves to Egypt under the rule of the Pharaoh. The Pharaoh believed that the boy now a man Moses (Christian Bale) who grew up with his son Ramses (Joel Edgerton) would be a better ruler of Egypt. The High Priestess (Indira Varma) predicted that the leader of the land would be saved by the true leader and later when Moses saves Ramses in a battle questions and paranoia flare within the Memphis Palace. Moses soon travels to Pithom to meet with the Hebrew elders and when he learns of his heritage he is soon exiled to the desert by Ramses who took over rule of Egypt when his father died.
As Moses travels west to east towards the Tiran Straits and the Red Sea he eventually comes across a water hole where he meets his future wife. Love, marriage and a son surround their life together until one night when Moses climbs the mountain chasing after some sheep he encounters a burning bush and a young boy, a boy he later discovers that only he can hear and see. He knows he is to return to Egypt and confront Ramses who also has a wife and young child. Moses asks that his people be set free from slavery but when Ramses demands that Moses be found and killed along with his family the Memphis Palace and the Egyptian people began to experience gator attacks, dead fish and red waters, thousands of frogs taking to the land leading to maggots and flies and soon plague that not only affected people but horses, cows, goats, and all animals. Ramses begins to kill his own prophets as matters get worse for the Egyptian pharaoh. Tornados, hail, lightning, locusts and looting occur leading to more deaths among the Egyptian people.
Moses instructs the Hebrews to smear animal blood on their doors one night as darkness came over Egypt with death taking the Egyptians first born, including Ramses child. This left Ramses with no choice but to banish all 400,000 slaves from his lands yet later he and 4000 men, 1000 chariots ride off into the desert chasing after Moses and his people to kill them all. With the sea ahead and the Ramses army behind they must hurry to cross the waters following Moses to freedom or staying behind to perish by the arm of Ramses and his army.
What makes you happy? What’s most important in your life? Will I ever leave you? Easy questions with easy answers for Moses and his wife since they both realize the true meaning of love and caring. Soon thereafter a new ruler emerges with new laws approved by God.
The story has a few changes from the one I remember from years past but overall it still has the same outcome and outlines as previous stories told about Moses. Scott really does a nice job directing this film adding several special effects but by no means over-doing it which is a good thing in my mind. The writing seems to have left a few holes along the way and at times seems rushed which they may or may not have intentioned to do. Not sure why they would but it seems that some characters just seem to disappear. Although the special effects are phenomenal I felt that the situations around them just seemed to come and go too quickly. Great cinematography, wardrobe and music make this story more than worth seeing in the theater especially since two and a half hours goes by very fast during this biblical following of Moses.
Bale is once again superb on the big screen as he encompasses the character Moses with one exception his accent seemed to come and go at times. Edgerton is a good nemesis to Bale’s character and Ben Kingsley who plays elder Nun is wonderful as well, also nice to see Sigourney Weaver who plays Tuya as well as Arron Paul as Joshua. This film has a huge supporting cast as well as extras way too many to mention but overall I must say this film is not going to be known as a classic but rather a classic remake that plays well to the now generation. Written and thoroughly enjoyed with three paws out of four by Jon Patch.