Warning: Minor spoilers that you won’t give a damn about will be discussed.
Remember when this film, Gods of Egypt, was announced and they cast Gerard Butler, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and a bunch of other caucasian actors, with Chadwick Boseman, a black actor, being the exception? Remember the outage of people accusing the producers of blatenly whitewashing the cast? I certainly agreed with some of those concerns, being that Egyptians normally had darker skin and didn’t speak with Scottish, British and Danish accents like the two leads and supporting characters casted here. What I remember more vividly however, was watching the first trailer for the film, thinking and tweeting: “Whitewashing is the least of this film’s problems”. Good Gods, I was right.
Plot? Story? Who needs those things when you have… (epic voice) SPECIAL EFFECTS. Yes, acting and directing appear to take a back seat as it appears that special effects and CGI tell the story of a handsome peasant boy (Brenton Thwaites) who needs the help of Egyptian god, Horus (Coster-Waldau) to save his lady love. Horus, agreeing to help, also sets out to defeat his evil uncle and god, Set (Butler), who wrongfully claimed the throne of Egypt by killing his own brother, Osiris, as well as blinding Horus. And that is pretty much the extent of logical explanation I can give as far as plot goes, because as far as the rest of the story goes, I don’t know what the fuck was going on, nor did I care.
Actually, I take that back, I know what was going on after all. Distractions. CGI and loud sound effects to distract you from realizing you paid too much money to watch a really shitty, stupid movie. Now, unless your brain dead, or you have really poor taste in film like my dad whom I saw the film with (I think I was adopted), those distractions will not work. This is another over budget epic fail, joining the ranks of Battlefield Earth, the Clash of the Titans remake and sequel, and the most recent Wachowskis’ mind-raper, Jupiter Ascending. I mean, what the fuck, people? If y’all can’t come up with a good enough plot, and all you have are concepts that you can’t develop into coherent storytelling, why the hell even bother?
The acting ranges from bad to boring to “I’m just here for my paycheck”. Gerard Butler knows he’s in a bad film, and is basically hamming it up and giving us a discount King Leonidas act, delivering loud, intimidating speeches while giving us meme worthy screams to the camera. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau seems like he’s coming straight off the Game of Thrones set and remaining in Jamie Lannister mode. There’s nothing awful about the two leading actors. We’ve seen and enjoyed them in these kinds of roles before. It’s the rest of the cast that downright sucks, or at least had nothing to go on. Brenton Thwaites, no doubt about it, sucks in this film. He tries to be charming and funny, but ends up being bland and… I don’t know what else to call him but bland. In the scene, and yes, here comes a minor spoiler but plot device, when his pretty girlfriend is killed after he breaks her free from captivity, he shows zero emotion to her death. I mean, he doesn’t even try, as if he’s confidently thinking: “That’s okay, I’m gonna be a hero and bring her back from the dead”. Then there’s poor Geoffrey Rush, man. He plays Ra, the god of all gods. You can tell he’s powerful because he rides above the earth in a spaceship…. Yes, a spaceship…. Anyway, he’s surrounded by CGI effects and not much else. Half the time, he wears the dumbest looking crown on his head that would embarrass a five year-old at Chuck E Cheese’s, and is covered in CGI fire. The rest of the time, he just looks defeated. I admire his professionalism, but shame of the producers for making a great actor like him look like a clown. A tired, old, sad clown
I get that this is a fantasy based on mythology. I know that these are gods who have powers, change into flying creatures and fight with magic, but my goodness, this movie is chaotic. If it had better CGI, maybe it would have been an enjoyable feast for the eyes and a guilty pleasure, but it’s downright ugly, not to mention mind-numbingly stupid. The action sequences are over-stylized as if every punch or kick is meant to be a poster. Director Alex Proyas should know a thing or two on visual effects and style, what with directing films like The Crow, Dark City, and I, Robot. But it’s almost as if he took too long of a hiatus from directing, with his last film being the underwhelming Knowing with Nicolas Cage back in 2009. The only saving graces Gods of Egypt has is some cool character designs, pretty women, and the fact that it was so ridiculous, it made me giggle and sometimes laugh out loud. I should mention the movie attempts genuine humor. You’ll know this because every scene with the characters interacting in a light-hearted manner contains a playful score that sounds like it belongs on a kids show. I however, laughed at the serious moments, if you can call them that.
I’m done. Just know Gods of Egypt is nothing more than a live-action cartoon that’s so ridiculous, you’ll either laugh at its stupidity, or you’ll curse the movie gods. It’s not always offensively bad, but it has no reason to exist, therefore, seek your entertainment elsewhere.