TL;DR – You will forget this movie within moments of watching it, I mean I had to take notes so I didn’t forget, average in every possible way.
Score – 2 out of 5 stars
Ah Gods of Egypt, you are the very embodiment of mediocracy, you are the ‘slice of white bread’ of cinema, nothing wrong with white bread, but it is inherently lacking in substance. So before I go ahead and rip into the film for the next few paragraphs I should make it clear that Gods of Egypt is just average, not necessarily bad, but just tremendously average. So what I am going to do is use Gods of Egypt as a case study on how an expensive film can come out just so bland.
The first issue is the story, it is literally generic fantasy epic with a splash of Egypt Mythology being the only thing to differentiate it from every other film like this. Seriously this is the plot – Generic spoilt royal successor to the throne is betrayed by a member of their family, they are forced into exile where another character shows them that they need to fight for their kingdom, so a series of events occur on the way to kill the usurper to the throne. It is so bland, if you want to see this done reasonably well watch the second Narnia film or just Lion King, this film is Lion King only worse in every way. Ok so the plot is not in all original, that’s not always a deal breaker, because the dialogue or characters can help elevate it from mediocracy, so does this happen, well by this point you probably can guess that no, no it does not. The script is a mess, some of the dialogue in this film is Star Wars: Attack of the Clones bad, and I do not use that comparison lightly.
So what about the characters, well they’re also not that great. You can sort of feel from some of them that they are trying their best, but no one can help with some of those lines, but then also it is clear that a lot of the actors are just phoning in their performances *cough* Gerard Butler (Set) *cough*. The main ‘buddy’ duo of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Horus) and Brenton Thwaites (Bek) is not bad, and do have some moments of interesting character interactions, which probably stops this film from being truly awful, and Geoffrey Rush (Ra) at least realised what film he is in and went full ham, making his scenes the most enjoyable of the film. Other than that there is not much else to really recommend acting wise.
So the script is boring, that actors mostly bland to annoying, the next part where the film drops the ball in the details, never forget about the details. I am not going to get into the Whitewashing debate because I don’t have time and it is a more complicated thing than people would like to admit. However, what I will comment on is accent discipline, every person talks with a different accent, there is no attempt to create a united world which given the world is not that large (I mean that literally) is a big mistake. Honestly, I think everyone was just told to go with whatever they wanted, and look this is better than a bunch of actors putting on some generic ‘African’ accent, but it is still really jarring, in a Sean Connery playing a Russian submarine captain way. Also, the film shows a clear lack of understanding of Ancient Egyptian Culture from start to finish. I expect a conversation in preproduction went like this “ok this is the first look of the main city” “hmm, not enough pyramids, we need more of them, stick them all over the place, right in the middle of the city” “ok you’re the boss”. I mean Stargate got things more right than this, and their main conceit is that the Pyramids were landing pads for alien ships. Also, if you are going to rip music from a film, make sure it is not from a film that is much better than yours because all it will do is make me wish I was watching The Mummy instead.
While I am ranting a bit, the less said about the CGI the better, I mean come on people, if The Green Lantern taught us nothing, it was that real heads on CGI suits looks like ass, and that was not the only terrible CGI in the film. Another key thing is that there was no real story reason to have all the Egyptian ‘Gods’ to be 3 meters tall. All it did was add money to the budget that they obviously didn’t have, and it looked really bad, you were not Lord of the Rings, don’t try to be.
So, in the end, we have a generic movie, lumped in averageness because of bad plot, script, character and other problems. I would tell you to give it a miss but since it is being pulled from cinema so fast, I don’t think you will get the chance to miss it.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Directed by – Alex Proyas
Written by – Matt Sazama & Burk Sharpless
Starring – Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Brenton Thwaites, Gerard Butler, Chadwick Boseman, Elodie Yung, Courtney Eaton, Rufus Sewell & Geoffrey Rush.
Rating – Australia: M; Canada: PG; Ireland: Not released; NZ: M; UK: Not released, USA: PG-13