MOVIE: GODS OF EGYPT
STARRING: GERARD BUTLER; NIKOLAJ COSTER-WALDAU; BRENTON THWAITES
DIRECTED BY: ALEX PROYAS
AMovieGuy.com’s RATING: 1 STAR (Out of 4)
If you want to know everything that is wrong with Hollywood movies today, look no further than Gods of Egypt. I feel as a film critic that it is my civic duty to give this film a bad rating. Not just because of the blatant whitewashed cast, lead by the Scottish Gerard Butler and the Danish Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, but even if you put that aside, the overblown $140 million dollar film is a CGI assault on the eyes, that cares little about the craft of filmmaking. Sadly, Gods of Egypt is for the ADD world we now live in, where the word “entertainment” continues to be redefined.
Here might be the point where I take my foot off the negativity pedal on director Alex Proyas’s tale of the Gods. Born in Egypt, the director of the sci-fi classic Dark City seems on paper like an interesting choice to helm a film that deals in the fantasy. Yet, where his past films had elaborate sets and design, his newest is full of phoney green screen images that look like a video game played on an iPad.
The story is a pointless battle for power and revenge. It begins with a voiceover about how the Gods are powerful shape shifters and Mortals are…well mortal. Horus (Game of Thrones- Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is the heir to be king of Egypt, until his uncle Set (played by a puffed chest, always walking with his penis- Gerard Butler) kills Horus’s father and steals his all seeing eyes. This leaves Horus without his power, and Set to become the most powerful God of all. Now it is up to the spirited mortal Bek (Brenton Thwaites) to seek the help of Horus in order to save his beloved and recently killed Zaya (Courtney Eaton) and defeat Set once and for all.
I refrained from that dreaded zero stars because it is not all bad. The performances from the cast fit the material they’re dealing with. Writers Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless give us the typical 300 style monologues for Butler to strut around with, and Thwaites is particularity energizing. While, the direction from Proyas must be an attempt to prove to someone that he can make a film entirely on green screens. Where last years controversial Exodus: Gods and Kings valued characters, craft, and interpretation of story, none of that exists here. Proyas seems to be mixing 300 and Wrath of the Titans, with any one of the Transformers films. It is a never ending onslaught of sensory overload.
The journey of Horus and Bek continues on, as they seek the help of the sun God- Ra, played by Geoffrey Rush, who looks like a bald, floating Daddy Warbucks on fire. They need his help, as Set continues to grow stronger with power. Along the way, they will meet Thoth (an underused Chadwick Boseman) to help solve a riddle, battle a pair of pretty cool looking monster snakes, shape shift from human to CGI gold eagles, and then walk in front of more green screen/CGI Egypt locations.
All of this makes up a movie that cares little about the audience that pays at the box office. I am all for mindless escape, or for the sake of entertainment in movies such as Furious 7 or Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. Gods of Egypt is none of these things. The men are macho blowhards, the woman are walking breasts, and the characters are wooden cutouts. This is a $140 million waste, that even dares to pawn off a phoney last ditch message, that being a decent human is more important than money. I beg of you, don’t give in to a movie that thinks so little of it’s audience. Trust me, the Gods will thank you.
Written by: Leo Brady