#Film Exodus: Gods and Kings

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When the Pharaoh saw all these Israelites living in Egypt, he thought, “Holy shit! We’ve got an illegal alien problem.”

So the Pharaoh enslaved God’s chosen people and put them to work picking green beans, framing houses and things like that. Not wanting her son to grow up as a slave, one lady put her baby in straw basket and released it into the Nile River. The Pharaoh’s daughter stumbled upon the basket while she was out swimming. She later adopted the boy and named him Moses. 

As Moses grew up, he went to the best schools, ate the best food, played with the best dogs, and generally lived the good life. All of which was built upon the misery of an army of slaves. But then one day he learned the awful truth: he wasn’t a blue-blooded Egyptian at all. In fact, he was the son of illegal aliens. Having learned of how he came to be in the Pharaoh’s family, it occurred to Moses that the only thing that separated him from the slaves being whipped outside the palace was a basket ride. This realization caused an existential crisis in Moses. He turned his back on his adopted family, his country club and all his yuppie friends, and went into the desert to sort things out. 

While in the desert, God appeared to Moses in the form of a burning bush and told him to go free his fellow Israelites from slavery. When a flaming shrub tells you to do something, you do it. 

Moses returned to Egypt, demanding the release of all the Israelite slaves. The Pharaoh thought his radicalized grandson was just going through a phase. That if he just held out long enough, Moses would shave off his beard and the Che Guevara poster would come down off the wall, and everything would go back to normal. But Moses was serious, and so was God, a point he drove home by turning the Nile River into blood, creating swarms of frogs and giving everyone skin boils. In light of these horrors, the Pharaoh offered to let the Israelites go, but only if they left their cattle and sheep behind. This wasn’t good enough for Moses, as he knew this meant a future without jerky or leather furniture. So to raise the stakes, Moses summoned the Angel of Death. 

That night, the Israelites covered their door frames with lamb’s blood, so the Angel of Death would know to pass over their house and to move on to the neighbors, where he would kill their first-born son. This where the Jewish Feast of Passover comes from.

The Israelites got to keep their sheep and cattle. And they got to leave Egypt. God told Moses to take his people into the desert and await further instructions.

The Egyptians had made running a government look easy, but Moses quickly learned that it’s actually kind of a grind, especially when you’re leading a nation of people on what is going to be a 40-year nature hike. 

There was simply no way Moses could be everywhere to make sure nobody killed anyone else, stole their food, screwed their wife, or ate something that made them sick. And even when he could catch someone in the act, there wasn’t much he could do about it. You can’t exactly put someone in jail when you’re marching ten miles a day.

Moses did his best to keep order, but people kept getting sick, fights would break out and people were so fed up with the situation that they threatened to leave and go back to Egypt. For a while, it looked as if in the midst of all this crime and chaos that the tribes of Israel might simply dissolve and everyone would go their separate ways. 

Moses wracked his brain for ways to keep his nation of hikers together. Finally, God decided to help Moses out. He called him up to the top of Mount Sinai and gave him a bunch of stone tablets. “Be sure to tell everyone that these are coming from me.” God told him. “If they follow these laws, I’ll always be there to watch over them,” God said. “That’s the deal.” To commemorate his deal with the people of Israel, God told Moses to build the Ark of the Covenant, a gold trunk decorated with angels. Inside the trunk, they kept the Ten Commandments and some other mementos. They also built a Mercy Seat, a little seat on top of the ark so that when he came down from Heaven, God could ride around on top and kill people as they carried the ark with them. 

After a few days, Moses came back down the mountain with a bunch of laws, and unlike the rules he’d tried to lay down, these laws, he told them, were given to him personally by God. A gasp went up from the crowd. This was serious poker. People were far more worried about disobeying God who, unlike  Moses, actually could be everywhere at once. So they cut down on cheating, robbing, and killing each other and generally cleaned up their act.

The nation of hikers was saved.

This fine little story (aside from Torah of course) is from God Is Disappointed in You by Mark Russell & Shannon Wheeler which  is for people who would like to read the Bible…if it would just cut to the chase. So, for a film quite literally depicts how the actual holy book is written with minor to no changes, anything I am going to say about the script shall make me impious. (You know, I reeeeeallly care about that stuff) Well, god is indeed an angry dude, in this case. A child. What did I think about a film almost everyone scowls at?

Pacing is pretty much all over the place. Semi-realism is kinda fun to aim at but also kills the epic feeling. Christian Bale is badass as usual but you wonder why the heck he is both Jesus and Moses now. Can he take a shot at Mohammad too? Would Arman be satisfied if jihadjihadmohammadjihadallahackbar ISIS dudes kills Bale of? (Editor’s note: No. But he should quit acting. OR ELSE!…)

Seriously, the only thing left to be said is how unmemorable the film was. I loved how they cared about hairstyles and accessorizes of Egyptian masses but I really would like to watch another real Egyptian themed film instead of this. That triangle haired chick was hot.

(Final words: Assassin’s Creed lore states that Moses’ staff was, in reality, a Staff of Eden, which he used to free the Israelites from the Egyptian rule and to part the Red Sea. Moses was also the first known member of humanity to possess a Staff of Eden. This film did not have any staff. I can only think by Assassin’s Creed terms. My “testament” on Unity is coming after I finish Paris Stories.)

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