Tag Archives: gods

Movie Review: Exodus: Gods and Kings: (3 ½ *’s) (2014)

Exodus: Gods and Kings is the latest Hollywood attempt at making a movie from a biblical story. The film stars Christian Bale as Moses, as well as Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley in two minor roles. There are other actors, of course, but none with names as big as these.

The story is basically the main story of the book of Exodus in the Bible. The Israelites are forced to seek refuge in Egypt from a famine (I think that’s accurate). At some point in their stay there, they are declared slaves and forced to build many of the great structures of ancient Egypt. Their slavery lasts four hundred years, giving them time to multiply, be beaten down, and ruthlessly oppressed. They call out to God, but it seems that he does not hear, until a savior is born. A child by the name of Moses who escapes certain death by being abandoned in the Nile by his mother and found by a member of the royal family. He is raised a prince in Pharoah’s house unaware of his true heritage. He visits the Jews in their servitude. One of them tells him the truth; he does not believe him, so goes on his way. He is accosted by an Egyptian guard whom he kills. He is banished from Egypt for the murder, sentenced to live in exile. In the desert he is tested and tried until he finds a new home and family. Then, he has a terrible fall and encounters God and his whole life changes.

Strengths: the acting was good, the story was engaging, and had one or two embellishments which added to it in an acceptable fashion. There were no terrible holes in the plot. The God in the movie acted through nature as opposed to in contradiction of nature … which can be a plus or a minus depending on how you want to look at it. Biblical purists probably won’t like that aspect of it. Weaknesses: they had an Egyptian counselor who explained the plagues of Egypt in a scientific fashion that seemed too advanced for the time in question. But that is what you are probably most likely reduced to when you have a God that works through nature. Also, the plagues were over in a heartbeat. Finally, I didn’t like the portrayal of God as a child; in fact, God, at times, seemed almost demonic to me. Oh yes, and one more thing, the movie didn’t seem to have a clear grasp that Moses was the servant, and God was the God. When he was inscribing the Ten Commandments Moses said, “I wouldn’t inscribe them, if I didn’t agree with them.” That’s a bit touchy. It’s really not Moses place to agree or disagree with God. And Bible purists will probably take issue with that as well.

Anyway, despite its faults, it was an entertaining movie, and I’ll give Exodus: Gods and Kings three and a half stars out of five.

Movie Review: Wrath of the Titans

First, there was Clash of the Titans, the remake of the film of the same name from the 1980’s. Although I liked the original better, I may be biased because that was one of the first adventure films I ever saw growing up, and I saw it at a very impressionable young age. In any event, I did like the remake fairly well. Particularly, I liked the fact that they took some liberties with the original story; I see no point in seeing the same movie just with different actors. Wrath of the Titans picks up several years after Clash of the Titans leaves off. Perseus, played by Sam Worthington, is now a father; his wife, unfortunately, has passed away, though. Perseus is informed by his father, Zeus, played by Liam Neeson, that the walls of Tartarus are beginning to fall; the apostasy of humanity is leading to a weakening of the power of the gods; hence, the prison of the underworld is weakening.

 

At this point, I feel the need to digress on a somewhat theological point. I have mixed feelings about the theology presented in the movie. I know, it’s just a movie, and the truth about gods and God is most probably unknowable for us mere mortals. But the basic premise of the movie is that the gods are dependent upon humans; they need their prayers to sustain their power. All throughout the film, there is an undertone that humans shouldn’t pray to the gods. Of course, in the movie, some of the gods have turned against the humans, so perhaps it is a semi-justified course of action. Still, I can’t help but feel that the film has very strong anti-god undercurrents which can be extrapolated into anti-God undercurrents. And I’m not sure that is a good thing as a social development, let alone as a movie whose target audience includes the young (I think it was PG-13, but I could be wrong). But, like I said, this is just a digression—one I could go on and on about, but I will not.

 

Anyway, the movie as a whole was a decent action flick. I did not see it in 3-D, because I’ve decided 3D effects aren’t worth the extra three bucks. Still, the action flowed, everything made a kind of cohesive unit. And the characters were… uh, okay, and the acting was decent. Beyond my theological issue, there were no major flaws in the movie, unless you want to get picky about actual Greek mythology (e.g. Perseus wasn’t the hero who fought the chimera, or the minotaur, or whatever).

 

Ultimately, I think it was a decent flick, but not exceptional. I’ll give it three out of five stars. And I do feel obliged to note that some religious people may be offended for the reasons given above.