Reviews of the latest ‘biblical’ movie, Exodus: Gods and Kings, are out, and by and large they are, shall we say, unflattering to the film. Much like the movie Noah, this film, the director, and the actors are being taken to task for misrepresenting the biblical story they are professing to use as their base. It almost seems as though, since The Passion of the Christ, ‘biblical’ movies ought to carry a warning label: ‘This film barely based on the Bible’.
There seem to be plenty of problems with this movie: skin-tone of the actors; accents of the actors; Moses’ actions and motivation; and so on. But the one problem that pops up in every review I’ve read has been the casting of an 11-year-old boy to play the part of God. This young actor’s part has been described with various adjectives, all seeming to boil down to describing God as a petulant, angry, selfish kid who, when things don’t go His way, pitches a fit – and people die.
Why doesn’t this kind of depiction surprise me?
Well, it’s because for years and years and years, we’ve heard and read from theologians (liberal ones) that the God of the Old Testament is ‘so different’ than the God of the New Testament, it’s as if we’re looking at two different Gods entirely – something a guy named Marcion pushed way back in the Second Century AD. It’s still a problem, as this article points out.
But this is only part of the problem. Again, for years, we’ve heard and read militant anti-theists make the claim that the God of the Old Testament is an evil, unpredictable old bugger; spiteful, warlike, vicious, unjust, He goes ahead and punishes people who don’t do what He wants them to do.
In short, He acts like a spoiled little 11-year-old kid.
So why not portray Him exactly this way? The director has come right out and stated he doesn’t believe Moses ever existed, he doesn’t believe in the miraculous, so why would he believe in the God of the Bible?
Well, perhaps he ought to, considering that Noah – by a different director, with different casting, but with the same just-barely-biblical basis for a story – flopped enormously at the box office, and considering this film currently is on track to lose at least as big as Noah did.
Actually, he doesn’t even have to believe – all he needs to do is stick to the source he claims to be using as a basis for his movies.
Food for thought.
Disclaimer: I haven’t seen either Noah or Exodus: God’s and Kings. Based on the reviews, I probably won’t, unless they end up in the ‘under-ten-dollar’ bin at my local big-box store.