Exodus: Gods and Kings

Rated 2.0

Ridley Scott’s Exodus functions mostly like a big-budget exercise in grandiose technical display. The script (credited to Scott and four co-writers) does make some scattered attempts at injecting something other than grand spectacle into the proceedings. The subtitle (Gods and Kings) signals the film’s most emphatic theme—men who think themselves kings, kings who think themselves gods. Spiritual struggles are given brief attention and evocations of the supernatural mostly get overwhelmed in the film’s heavy-handed displays of showmanship. The movie’s Moses (Christian Bale) is no Charlton Heston, which probably ought to be a blessing, but there’s little that Bale is able to do with the script’s token, man-of-faith gestures. There are a couple of sweetly old-fashioned declarations of love between Moses and his beloved Zipporah (María Vlverde) that are so out of keeping with most of the rest of the film that they become more interesting than they would otherwise have any right to be. But that too may not be enough to erase the abiding impression that Scott’s Exodus is mostly about militarism and deal-making. Cinemark 14, Feather River Cinemas and Paradise Cinema 7. Rated PG-13