Exodus: Gods and Kings 2014 (PG-13)

This movie was wildly inaccurate and a waste of time.  There were so many historical errors and major variations from the actual biblical account that it was like a completely different story.  I felt sorry for anyone who watched this film to try and learn the story for the first time.  It would take a year in Sunday School to get all of the misinformation out of his or her head!  Here are only a few of the errors in the film: God is inexplicably depicted as a young British boy with a nasty, vindictive attitude.  Moses backtalks and is disrespectful to God.  When Moses is before the burning bush, he is buried up to his neck in a mudslide (in the desert, mind you).  None of the actual dialogue in the Bible between Moses and God is used.  Moses is not shown to humble, reluctant, or even to stammer in the film.  When Moses returns to Egypt, Pharaoh and Moses hardly ever talk face to face, even during the plagues.  In reality, they spoke almost every day.  Moses never warns Pharaoh or says, "Let my people go".  God only sends the plagues to stop Moses from building an army and blowing up Egyptian buildings.  Where do they get this stuff?  Don't Hollywood producers know that their target audience is believers who know the story inside and out and will take offense to it being changed?  If the original story has captivated people's interest worldwide for centuries, why mess with it?  This is not a Disney movie where no one will know any better if you take artistic liberties with an obscure medieval fable that very few people have read.  I seriously doubt that the producers of this film consulted with leaders of Judaism, Christianity and Islam like those of “Prince of Egypt” did.  I think this movie would offend just about anyone.

The film did a good job on the special effects on the plagues and the crossing of the Red Sea, but Moses did not use a sword to part the waters; it was his staff.  I don’t recall Moses even having a sword, but the film obsesses on it.  Also, wasn't the pharaoh Moses' father, not his brother?  The story was written as a father son conflict, not a sibling rivalry.  That dynamic works just fine in the original story.  Why does Hollywood keep wanting to change it?  Other sloppy stuff included bronze swords that were as strong as steel, Africans in the Hittite army, and the wrong style of armor and swords for the Egyptian army.  They did not look right; they look too medieval.  Common Egyptian weapons are not depicted.  The Hittites’ huge advantage of iron weapons is not shown.  This was their most important military invention.  It literally changed the entire form of warfare in the era.  Alas, the poor Hittites, I have yet to see a movie get them right.

The movie really plays up the theme of Moses as a general.  There is absolutely no evidence that he was at the Battle of Kadesh fighting the Hittites, and he definitely did not have an army until after the Israelites left Egypt.  How could they build weapons (let alone explosives) and train without the Egyptians noticing it?  Wouldn't the Israelite slaves be too exhausted after making bricks all day?  They also show Moses touching the Ark of the Covenant with his bare hands and he remains unharmed.  The Bible clearly demonstrates that people died if they touched it.

The film has many anachronisms as well.  Pillows, camels, cactuses, stirrups, horseshoes, and archers firing from horseback are shown even though these things came into use much later.  The Sphinx is shown with its modern day wear and tear and having missing parts instead of looking new.  There were no mountains in Pithom, so Pharaoh’s soldiers did not die by falling off the cliffs.  Pyramids are shown inside the city instead of out in the desert.  Pharaoh is even shown wearing a queen’s crown.  Sloppy, sloppy!  Was there no historical consultant for this film?

This film has zero educational value.  It will only misinform and confuse your students.  It will require extensive reteaching to get back to the historical facts about Moses.

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