This is the extraordinary tale of two brothers named Rameses II (Ralph Fiennes) and Moses (Val Kilmer), one born of royal blood, and one an orphan with a secret past. Growing up the best of friends, they share a strong bond of free-spirited youth and good-natured rivalry. But the truth will ultimately set them at odds, as one becomes the ruler of the most powerful empire on Earth, and the other the chosen leader of his people. Their final confrontation will forever change their lives and the world.
Anthony Pereyra <[email protected]>
User Reviews: For sheer spectacle, it’s tough to beat the Bible. With "The Prince of Egypt," DreamWorks makes good on its promise to deliver a state-of-the-art animated film that will compete favorably with the best Disney has to offer. As with "Antz," released earlier this year, DreamWorks has successfully resisted the temptation to populate this film with characters that can be turned into further revenue through toy sales. (I do wonder, though, if three soundtrack albums–the film’s soundtrack, an "inspirational" album, and a "country" album–were really necessary.) The animation team has accomplished something truly spectacular; watching "The Prince of Egypt" is like seeing life breathed into a rich, luxurious tapestry. The Biblical story told in the books of Genesis and Exodus is followed very faithfully, with only minor changes made for dramatic reasons. The action sequences are truly exciting, overall pacing is excellent, and the miracles wrought by God are depicted with awed and respectful wonder. One truly astonishing, harrowing sequence recounts the slaughter of firstborn Hebrew children by bringing hieroglyphic drawings to life on the walls of an Egyptian temple. The voice work is especially good–Val Kilmer is fine as Moses, and Pharoah, voiced by Ralph Fiennes, positively seethes with arrogance and hubris. The storytellers wisely chose to end their tale at the climactic crossing of the Red Sea; even the delivery of the Ten Commandments is portrayed only in an epilogue vignette. (After all, the Israelites wander in the wilderness for forty years after that, and Moses ultimately is not allowed to enter the Promised Land–perhaps not the uplifting ending the filmmakers had in mind.) Some of the subject matter is dark and disturbing, and there is no shying away from the harsh realities of the original texts. By all means, see it with the children in your life–and be prepared to discuss it with them afterward.