First Hit: I couldn’t help but compare Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments” with this film and in many ways this film is more touching and it was also very slow at times.
This is a long and grandiose type film.
It does its best to create characters we can either like or dislike. Ramses (Joel Edgerton) has the look and feel of the antagonist but there is something missing and I couldn’t put my finger on it. Christian Bale plays Moses the adopted brother (of sorts) of Ramses both of whom are guided by Ramses father Seti (John Turturro).
Viceroy Hegep (Ben Mendelsohn) overhears that Moses is really a Hebrew and tells Ramses. Moses is ousted from the Egyptian royal family and finds his roots. He comes back to Egypt to free his people (600,000 Hebrews) and lead them home. Guided by a young boy, who represents the almighty, he witnesses the plagues and then leads the slaves through the Red Sea and to their ancestral home. This film was slow most of the time.
The 3-D version of the plagues was very good and it surpasses the previous film in realistic spectacle. Funny that I still liked the previous version of the parting of the Red Sea because the way the walls of the water jumped up. However, this film’s version is far more realistic and was very good as well. I don't think this film will do very well at the box office because the story telling here just isn’t very compelling.
Edgerton as Ramses is effective but doesn't carry the energy to make us want to find him the villain he's suppose to be. Bale does his best in this role and at times is really good, but the material slows him down. Turturro is really good as Seti because he carries the air of supremacy and intelligence perfectly. Mendelson in a smallish role is fabulous. He makes the most of this part. There were other big name actors in the film but their minor roles are not worth mentioning. Adam Cooper, Bill Collage, Jeffrey Caine, and Steven Zaillian wrote this over full script. Ridley Scott directed this overly full script. The best part was the effectiveness of creating great plagues.
Overall: This was a long film that only begins to pick up during the plagues.