Monday, December 15, 2014

Review of "Exodus" movie

I went with my son to see the “Exodus” movie the other night.  It was very interesting.  Immediately I saw all kinds of comments on Facebook, so I figured I would contribute my two cents to the discussion.  Here are my positives and negatives of the movie.

Positives of the movie:
1.     My biggest positive is that I think it will cause many people to read the book of Exodus from the Bible to find the true account.  Anything to get people into God’s Word is a good outcome.
2.     Hollywood is making more movies based on biblical events, and this certainly shows that they know there is a large audience for such movies.
3.     The movie was obviously done with a very large budget:  sets, costumes, number of people, locations (e.g., Spain, Canary Islands, and Egypt), etc.
4.     There was nothing sexual or overly violent in the movie.  I would advise almost any age to go see it.
5.     It definitely shows the humanness of Moses and some of what it could have been like for him to be raised in Pharaoh’s household.
6.     The brutality of the slavery the Israelites had to endure was definitely done well.
7.     It made it clear the enormous number of people involved in the Exodus.
8.     Plagues were depicted well, although I have a concern about them under the negatives.  Stay tuned for that.
9.     I loved the “Passover” scene and how that was done.
10. Parting of the Red Sea was very dramatic.
11. God definitely wins in the end, even though God’s true presence and activity was quite obscure.
12. I liked the way the 10 Commandments were given at the end (i.e., as a way to guide the people after Moses would depart as their leader).

Negatives of the movie:
1.     Moses is not shown to have much of a relationship with God.  Though his humanness was definitely shown, it missed the strong relationship with God he did have.
2.     The plagues just “happened” and not as the Scripture says (i.e. with God proving His superiority and Moses directly appealing to Pharaoh to “let My people go” …. or “else”).
3.     The many ways the movie went away from Scripture was not necessary and did not add to the drama of the story in any way.  They should have stayed with the biblical story and it would have been much more interesting and dramatic.  God’s Word is pretty interesting and dramatic.  Hopefully Hollywood will eventually realize this.  They don’t need to divert from Scripture to have an amazing movie.
4.     Having the little boy as God’s spokesman took away from the power and greatness of God. Some may see that as “out of the mouths of babes and infants” (Ps. 8:2), but I did not like this.
5.     The Bible clearly shows God being deeply concerned for the plight of His people, and delivering them as a powerful and caring God (Exodus 3:7-12). The movie did not bring this out.
6.     The Bible says the Egyptians let the Israelites have what they asked for, and that the Israelites plundered the Egyptians when they left Egypt, and thus took much provision with them (Ex. 12:36-37). This was not in the movie at all.
7.     The scene where Moses is swept into the sea but survives is pretty weird. Not sure why they did that.
8.     The crossing of the Red Sea (Exodus 14) took place with God proving His greatness (14:17-18) and Moses demonstrating strong faith in God (14:13).  The movie was weak on these fronts as well.
9.     The bottom line is that the movie did not depict God as the loving, caring, sovereign, all-powerful God He is. But for secular Hollywood, it wasn’t terrible.

As you can see, I think the positives outweigh the negatives, and I would recommend everyone see the movie …. And then read the book of Exodus!!!