Epic can”t be faked. CG magic can only take directors partway. Without an element of the real to hang on, digitally rendered wideshots filled with simulated armies are going to trigger our scrutinous brains. Blame Cecil B. DeMille and David Lean. Audiences know how epic is done right.
Reviving that “golden age” definition seems to be Ridley Scott”s prerogative on “Exodus: Gods and Kings.” Released footage still teases massive amounts of special effects – Moses”s 10 plagues look like a barrage attack exploding out of Zod”s “Man of Steel” World Machine – but there”s a foundation of reality. Landscapes are speckled with fantastical elements. “Exodus” kindly refuses the “300” style.
We get a taste of Scott”s commitment to verisimilitude, the ol” fashioned way of movie making, in a new “Exodus: Gods and Kings” featurette. Looking behind the scenes at the locations in the film, the video reveals Ancient Egypt to be a composite of Spain and the Canary Islands, with Pinewood studios standing in for the exteriors. For fans of the classic Biblical epics, there”s a rush of excitement that comes with watching Scott film a close-up of Christian Bale, speaking to God as the Hebrew prophet, with hundreds of extras chillin” in the background. That”s probably how it was in real life.
There”s reason to bet on “Exodus: Gods and Kings” in the below-the-line categories, but will voters find room for a classically styled epic in its Best Picture category? That”ll depend on Scott crafting drama as sweeping as his vistas. Check out the video below to see the “Prometheus” director in action.
“Exodus: Gods and Kings” rides into theaters Dec. 12, 2014