herald

Sunday 4 December 2016

Moses tale is bit of a basket case

drama

HMM, with the director of the utterly brilliant Gladiator at the helm, you'd expect more from a Moses epic.

But Ridley Scott left me cold with his take on a story of biblical proportions.

It's not that the effects or acting are bad, it's just that it feels more like the empty Troy than something colossal like Ben Hur.

Anyway, back to the story: it's 1300BC and Moses (Christian Bale), a general and member of the Egyptian royal family, is defending his lands with Prince Ramesses (Jole Edgerton) from the Hittite army.

A high priestess prophesises (with animal guts) that one of the men will save the other from death in the battle and become a great leader.

What do you know: Moses saves Ramesses' life, and later, on a trip to the city of Pithom, he's appalled to see that slaves are having a hard time. Duh!!!

One Hebrew slave, Nun, reveals to Moses that he too is Jewish, and he was only raised by the pharaohs, but isn't one of them.

This revelation that Moses knows his true identity doesn't go down well at the royal court and Moses is banished by Ramesses, who's now the new pharaoh after the death of his father.

The pace slackens as Moses becomes a shepherd, marries a hot-looking tribe woman (Maria Valverde) and has a son, Gershom. If you know your Bible, you know what's next: burning bush, Hebrews legging it out of plague-ravaged Egpyt and the parting of the Red Sea.

The CGI is good, and Bale is his dependable self here, but far from being an epic, it feels like outtakes from The Mummy series.

Sadly average.

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