No two elements in Hollywood make more sense together than Ridley Scott and epic, sprawling period dramas. After all, who better to direct an action packed, intensely dramatic, incredibly serious film about Moses leading the Jews out of slavery in Egypt than the man who made Gladiator and Black Hawk Down? Unfortunately, that's about the only thing that seems to make any sense about his latest film, Exodus: Gods and Kings, a movie that promises to live up to its poster. The first trailer for the epic sees Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton (who are Welsh and Australian, respectively) face off over the people of Egypt.
At least, that's what we think is going on. To be honest, we were a bit distracted by the sheer insanity of the trailer to really follow along with the plot. No matter how hard we tried to pay attention to the exposition that the dramatic voice-over was revealing or focus on the intensity of the torch-lit glares, there would be something else that drew our attention and made us stop everything we were doing in order to exclaim "Wait, what?!" In a desperate attempt to make sense of everything that's going on in Exodus: Gods and Kings, we've rounded up all of the most surprising, confusing and downright insane moments in the trailer.
0:13 – Christian Bale’s Impeccably Trimmed Facial Hair Was ancient Egypt particularly well known for its barbers? Because the angles on that goatee are distractingly perfect. Surely Moses has more important things to deal with than making sure that is facial hair looks pristine at all times... like, say, freeing the slaves? Bale doesn't even show up to the Oscars this well groomed.
0: 19 – Joel Edgerton’s Painted-On Eyebrows Was the makeup team worried that audiences wouldn’t be able to find Edgerton’s eyes after he shaved his head? Did they really think we needed two clear arrows pointing at them at all times, so that we can better appreciate the intensity of his gaze? Did they confuse old hieroglyphs for an accurate representation of what people’s eyebrows looked like then, and attempt to match his makeup to a cave wall?
0:24 – What Accent Is That Supposed to Be? It’s clearly an attempt at the standard “British gravitas” that is a fundamental requirement of any epic period piece, but then towards the end of the line, it takes a strange detour into what we can only assume is an attempt at Egyptian, but which really sounds more like someone from a vaguely European country speaking with his mouth full.
0:27 – Hang on, Was There an Epic Battle in the Original Story?There was definitely fire, we know that, but as far as we remembered it came from a burning bush. Was there this much swordplay in the Bible? Did Ridley Scott just grow up reading a different version of the story or was this all in there, just buried between the lines? Maybe we’ve all been wrong this whole time…
20th Century Fox Film
0:31 – Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton Are in Two Completely Different Movies Edgerton clearly thinks he’s starring in a shot-for-shot remake of a classic Hollywood epic, complete with period-accurate – well, for the 1950s and ‘60s, at least – makeup and the kind of voice that proclaims, “I am a Serious Actor. Respect Me.” Whereas Bale is clearly playing off-duty Bruce Wayne, who has been hanging out in his desert mansion for a while in order to build up his base tan.
0:41 – Is Someone Casting a Spell on that Baby? Why else would you wave your hands over its head? What did this baby do to warrant a curse like that? It didn’t harm anyone, it’s just a baby. What movie do you think this is, Maleficent? Also, why would you wake up a sleeping baby? It probably just got to sleep and now it’s going to be up all night, which means someone’s going to be exhausted when they show up for battle tomorrow. Nobody wants sleepy soldiers.
1:06 – Wait, Sigourney Weaver Is in This? Wow, they didn’t even try to cast anyone who looks like they could actually be from this region, did they? Also, is she playing someone’s mother? Because Sigourney Weaver is far too young to play either Christian Bale or Joel Edgerton’s mother, and yet here she is, looking authoritative and resplendent, like she’s going to yell at Moses and Ramses to stop fighting and clean up their wing of the palace, without even smudging her perfect eyeliner.
1:14 – Moses’ Casual Reveal of the Plagues About to Terrorize Egypt“Oh, hey Ramses. Don’t freak out or anything, but there’s something really terrifying headed your way, and I’m not gonna stop it or anything, but you’re basically screwed. No worries, though. I’m sure it will all work out fine. Well, it was good talking to you, hope the hail doesn’t knock you out. See you at the family reunion!”
1:22 – Christian Bale’s “Serious Archer” Face If you’re leading an army into battle against their greatest foe, the king who has held them captive for generations, you might want to find a facial expression that’s a bit more intimidating and inspiring than just opening your mouth as wide as you can and refusing to blink. You were Batman. You should have a perfect fighting face ready for any occasion.
1:30 – The Plainest Title Cards of All Time After a minute and a half of sweeping panoramas, epic battle scenes, stunning visual effects and a literal river of blood, the trailer fades out into the titles… which are just thin silver letters on a black background. Did they run out of money for titles thanks to the massive effects budget? If you’re going to wimp out on the titles, at least try and pick an interesting font. It’s advertising 101.
And we didn't even touch on the fact that Aaron Paul is playing Moses' second in command. Exodus: Gods and Kings opens in theaters on December 12.
Documentary that explores Exodus, the second book of the Bible. Exodus tells stories of divided loyalties, slavery, vengeance, flight, liberation, true faith and miracles. Leading Biblical scholars explain how the story may be more fact than fiction, and everything from the plagues to the parting of the Red Sea might have been accurately described. The book is credited with starting and fueling the anti-slavery movement in America, and charges social and political issues to this day.