And again, BUMP! Sorry guys, I'm just trawling through the old threads that I missed over the past few years!
Okay, so I have two things to say. Firstly, about this whole ethnicity issue....
I'll start by declaring that I mean no personal offence to Achtung Englander; if you want to boycott a film or director for any reason at all -- fine, that's up to you. But, I really don't know why people in general are so up-in-arms about the ethnicity of the casting on this one particular film. Rightly or wrongly, people have been playing the roles of characters from other ethnicities for decades. What is it in particular that offends people this time? So we have Caucasians playing ancient Hebrews and Caucasians playing ancient Egyptians. I'm no expert (and I'm willing to be corrected), but I've gathered that defining the exact ethnicities of those ancient people groups is quite a murky "science". We're talking about 3000+ years of breeding and migration from the time of Ramesses II to the present day. There are various hypothesis put forward by experts on these matters, and the studies are not conclusive. To take a modern day citizen of Egypt to play Ramesses or a modern-day Jew to play Moses is not necessarily going to be an accurate depiction of the historical ethnicities from the period, and if anything it would only be pandering to modern political agendas. Imagine the number of people who would have boycotted the film if an ISRAELI actor had played Moses! I also don't remember anyone complaining about the fact that Russell Crowe, an Australian with "English, German, Irish, Italian, Māori, Norwegian, Scottish, Swedish and Welsh ancestry", was playing a Spaniard in Gladiator!
Secondly, as to Exodus: Gods & Kings itself...
Seeing as how I'm a Bible-thumping maniac these days, I love any big-budget Hollywood production that attempts to retell Bible stories on the big screen. I liked Noah. I liked The Last Temptation of Christ and I really liked The Passion of the Christ. Unlike other Bible-thumping maniacs, however, I don't get upset when a biblically-inspired film deviates from, elaborates, or "re-imagines" the original text. I think this is an absurd position to take. Hollywood, not being a religious organisation, is not obliged or expected to make 100% accurate portrayals of Biblical narratives. If you want to find out what happens in the Bible, read the Bible. Films are only for entertainment. Obviously.
Personally, I love Bible-stories. And, for the most part, I love Ridley Scott's filmography. I admit that none of his "historical" epics in recent times have ever lived up to Gladiator, but Scott has a certain unique visual style which I have always adored. Thus, I was expecting to enjoy Exodus. And you know what? I did. It had many weaknesses, which I've also come to expect from Scott these days. Most of them, I believe, are simply that he does not seem to be able to effectively tell a story in two hours. I don't know much at all about the film industry, but it seems Scott always finds himself bowing to the will of studios and butchering his own films. In the past he's always managed to counteract this in the long-run by releasing his famous 'Director's Cuts', which I've always enjoyed waiting for, but apparently we're not going to get one of those for Exodus. This is highly regrettable to me, as apparently the original, non-theatrical version is some four hours long. Now that is a viewing experience I would love to have.
Bear welcome in your eye, your hand, your tongue.
Look like th' innocent flower, but be the serpent under ’t.