The “year of the Bible movie” continues apace with the unveiling of the first trailer for “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” Ridley Scott’s epic take on the Old Testament story of Moses leading his people to freedom from their ancient Egyptian oppressors.
Christian Bale trades his batsuit for some old-fashioned armor as Moses as he squares off against the mighty Pharaoh Ramses, played by a nearly unrecognizable Joel Edgerton — head shaved, decked out in gold, eyeliner applied with a heavy hand. (Alas, neither actor looks particularly Egyptian.)
In the trailer, much is made of the once-fraternal relationship between Moses and Ramses, who “grew up together, close as brothers.”
Things go south, however, when Moses and his people rise up and a cycle of deadly plagues descends upon Egypt. Then it’s time, as Ramses says, to “see who’s more effective at killing: you or me.”
Scott is well-versed in sword-and-sandal drama and sweeping battle scenes, having directed such films as “Gladiator” and “Kingdom of Heaven,” and he looks to be putting that experience to good use here.
He’s also a wizard with visual effects, as “Prometheus” recently demonstrated, and the “Exodus” trailer does indeed show some striking glimpses of the plagues, including a blood-red Nile and a savage hailstorm.
Twentieth Century Fox will release “Exodus: Gods and Kings” on Dec. 12.