What it's about:
A mortal thief teams up with the Egyptian
god Horus to try and stop the latter's uncle, Set, from bringing Egypt and the
rest of the world into darkness in his quest for ultimate power.
What we thought:
Way back in the late 1990s director Alex
Proyas delivered one of best science fiction films of the decade in the
occasionally flawed but largely brilliant Dark City. Sadly, since then he has
struggled to match it with much less impressive fare like I, Robot and Knowing.
Who ever would have thought he would sink so low, though, that his first film
in seven years would be one of the more embarrassing examples of the ever more
embarrassing sword-and-sandals fantasy genre.
Gods of Egypt is an overblown, overlong and
over-CGI-saturated mess that is saved from an even lower rating only by the
fact that, for a while at least, its sheer, unapologetic naffness is almost
kind of endearing. Unfortunately, any humble charms it might have had in its
earlier sections are completely eroded away by the end as the level of bombast
and godawful CGI swallow up anything and everything in their wake.
Ancient Egyptian mythology isn't quite as
exceptional as its Greek counterpart but it surely deserves better than what is
little more than a glorified toy commercial for a line of toys that I'm
reasonably sure are never actually going to be made. This has much less to do
with Egyptian mythology than even those terrible Wrath of the Titans remakes
had to do with... is it Roman mythology, I forget? This is much closer to
something of a mix between Transformers and the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers
but somehow even lamer.
Needless to say, the dialogue, acting and,
yes, sadly, direction are universally poor but it's amazing just how bad its
“special” effects are. Not only does it apparently rely purely on
computer-generated, rather than physical, effects – someone didn't learn the
lessons of the Star Wars prequels – but those effects are all but entirely
crap. Compare these glaringly weightless and extremely fake-looking effects
with the seamless blending of CGI and physical effects in Star Wars: The Force
Awakens or The Revenant to see just how anachronistic this film truly is. If it
weren't for the fact that the women in the film are uniformly gorgeous (and
yes, the men are mostly super buff, if you're into that sort of thing), it
wouldn't even work as an innocuous piece of eye candy.
I suppose at this point it would be worth
wondering what people like Gerard Butler, Game of Thrones' Nikolaj
Coster-Waldau and Geoffrey Bloody Rush are doing in this trainwreck of a film
but, honestly, they are, if anything, even worse than the less well-known
members of the cast: a sure sign of phoning it in for the paycheck if I've ever
seen one. Of course, Butler has spent at least half his career in godawful
movies and I could name at least a couple of films in which the other two
appeared that are well below their talents, so it's not exactly like it's that
All in all, the lame but amiable early
sections do elevate Gods of Egypt out of the very bottom of the trash heap but
really, only the most undiscerning of movie goers need apply.
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