|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Originaltitel:||Exodus – Gods and Kings|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 151 Min.|
|FSK:||From 12 years|
Don't spill, just pad. This is what director Ridley Scott has set out to do for his latest film, in which he retells one of the most epic stories from the Bible using state-of-the-art 3D technology. In "Exodus - Gods and Kings", Moses (Christian Bale) rises against Pharaoh Ramses (Joel Edgerton) to free 400,000 Hebrew slaves from Egyptian captivity. Both men once grew up together like brothers. But after a prophecy Ramses sees in Moses a threat to his future, which is why he flees into exile. But after being called to do so by God, he returns after many years to lead his people to freedom. Of course Ramses does not want to allow this and he uses all means at his disposal to thwart Moses' plan. Even when his country is afflicted by terrible plagues, the Pharaoh is not ready to leave the triumph to his former confidant. As Moses leads the apparently liberated slaves through the desert, Ramses and his troops take up pursuit to bring the train to Canaan to a bloody end…
"Exodus - Gods and Kings" has some very good elements and spectacular images. Director Ridley Scott proves once again, especially in the second half of the film, that he is a master of his trade in terms of craftsmanship and knows how to stage bombastic cinema fodder for the eye. But here he misses what made his early works like "Alien" or "Blade Runner" timeless classics. In these films, Scott has a first-class understanding of how to mix modern trick techniques with exciting stories. Ridley Scott has often shown that he is such a talented storyteller that he can even conjure up something extremely enthralling with his very own character from very conventionally knitted story frameworks. When it came to the realization of the story around Moses, an experienced filmmaker like Scott could have expected something really big.
However, what is served to the viewers in the first hour is an old-fashioned historical ham with an extremely high yawn factor. Sure, effects and equipment are first-class. And for long stretches he even manages to make friends with the cast of Christian Bale as Moses and Joel Edgerton ("The Great Gatsby") as Ramses, which takes getting used to. But from the dramaturgy of the story, which is in itself captivating and difficult for even a non-biblical viewer to escape, the script can only bring little suspense and emotion to the screen. The dialogues, soaked with pathos, are sometimes performed in a frighteningly wooden way, which is especially the reason why the character-oriented scenes are so tenacious.
The decision that God Moses appears in the form of a child who speaks with a strong British accent in the English original doesn't prove to be the best decision for the film either. On the contrary, because at times these scenes, which are supposed to be extremely powerful, seem almost involuntarily funny. In the first 60 - 80 minutes "Exodus - Gods and Kings" meanders back and forth between boredom, thickly applied pathos and involuntary comedy. But when the plagues come down on Egypt, Scott still manages to turn the tide. Fascinating pictures and even killer crocodiles clearly increase the entertainment value of the film and the intensity of the story. From that moment on, the action actually becomes gripping, culminating in the moment that all viewers in a Moses film are waiting for: the division of the Red Sea.
And here Ridley Scott really deserves a lot of praise. Because with his very own interpretation of this striking scene he defies the expectations of the audience and creates something really surprising and unique that will remain in the viewers' minds for a long time. At this moment one is almost willing to forgive the film for many of its previous weaknesses. But with the long drawn-out finale Scott recalls all of them and makes it clear why his ambitious project has to be seen as a failure.
Because spectacular pictures don't make a good film for a long time. It makes no difference whether one knows the story from the Bible or approaches this historical epic in a completely unbiased way and it makes no difference whether one believes in God (in whatever form) or not - "Exodus - Gods and Kings" is in the end nothing more than an imposing shell that lacks the power that this story would have needed, both on the narrative level and with regard to the performances of the actors. And there's only one for that: Conditionally worth seeing!
Ein Artikel von Frankfurt-Tipp