The Ten Commandments: Not the Good One

  • Directed by Robert Dornhelm
  • April 10 to April 11, 2006
  • ABC


  • Moses-Dougray Scott
  • Aaron-Linus Roache
  • Menerith-Naveen Andrews
  • Zipporah-Mía Maestro
  • Ramses-Paul Rhys
  • Anander-Richard O’Brien
  • Jered-Silas Carson
  • Princess Bithia-Padma Lakshmi
  • Miriam-Susan Lynch
  • Rani-Claire Bloom
  • Jethro-Omar Sharif

Moses returns to Egypt to free the Hebrew slaves.

It is a brave person that takes on the story of the Exodus. The Ten Commandments 1956 set a standard that is tough to meet let alone exceed. It may have issues on Biblical accuracy but those are largely insignificant as it aimed to be reverential at the minimum. That version had an epic cast, epic sets, and visuals that still knock it out of the park 60 years later.

I bring that version of the story up in the review of another version of the story of the Exodus because this version is, well, bland. “Thou shalt not bore” is the only commandment of making Biblical films and this disobeys that in spades. I know a few years have passed since this version was made but many more years have passed since the legendary Chuck Heston version was made. It is still not bland.

The Ten Commandments 2006 rushes through so much of the story that is important and lingers on other parts that don’t feel necessary. That Moses is not actually Egyptian but actually Hebrew is touched upon but only rather quickly. His relationship with Ramses is sudden and no depth is given to it at any point. More importantly all character relationships are poorly realized. How they all connect is very vague.

Much of the narrative feels like it’s just checking off boxes rather than trying to craft an engaging story. Yes, it does have to hit certain points but there needs to be some effort in having the story go from Point A to Point B and so forth, but The Ten Commandments 2006 never quite gets there. It’s like the story is wandering around in a desert searching for a destination. An accidental metaphor?

The costuming. The costuming is, well, what it is. The Hebrews certainly look like they’re wearing rags. After all they are the slaves and the people behind this get that right. The Egyptians however look like they’re wearing upper end Halloween costumes. That’s the best way I can put it. I am not expecting extreme authenticity by something that could pass as handmade.

Thinking on it now I can’t think of too much that differentiates any of the characters we encounter. They kind of blur together in my memory. What they said or did doesn’t speak to a particular individual. As written you could easily exchange lines between them and not think it out of character. Moses (Dougray Scott) stands out a little bit more than anyone else but that’s minuscule. Jethro as well but that is only because of Omar Sharif in the part.

Admittedly The Bible isn’t the easiest thing to translate from page to screen. It was written in a different time and place but that does not mean it will be boring when filmed. Director Robert Dornhelm does little if anything to generate drama or tension or any kind of feelings. I was often left giving a big shrug to an event.

This might’ve been a bit unintentional on the part of the people behind this, but there are points where they do get into Biblical lessons. The biggest being that God does not help those who do not help themselves. In other words, God will not just hand you things, but rather you need to put the effort into making it happen and with faith and trust in God it will happen. The Hebrews after escaping from Pharaoh are impatient to get to the promised land. They want it just given to them. What they don’t understand is that they need to work for it. Why? Because something that is just handed to you is not appreciated.  You won’t take care of it and nurture it.

It also alludes to how God when He speaks to you, He is not necessarily speaking words. There is a sense of his presence and his guidance, but not necessarily a voice telling you what is what. Moses says essentially that is what he experiences when pressed for guidance by those around him.

The Ten Commandments 2006 is not Kirk Cameron religious or Pure Flix religious. I am talking about trying to communicate the main message of this particular part of the Bible. The Bible is not just intended as a history for a people and religion but also as a lesson in God or how He wants us to live. Understanding when God is speaking or what God wants us to put effort in are broad and found throughout. That God is the ultimate authority and that God will bless those who believe and does as He wills seems to be missing.

Ultimately this version of The Ten Commandments takes no chances and has little of substance. It keeps it as bland and inoffensive as they possibly can which is most likely to appeal to the broadest possible audience. Ultimately because of that The Ten Commandments 2006 has no strong appeal for anyone. If you find it you won’t necessarily feel you wasted your time but it’s not worth seeking out.

Published by warrenwatchedamovie

Just a movie lover trying spread the love.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: