Gods of Egypt

THIS… IS… EGYPT!!!!!!!! Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Brenton Thwaites, Gerard Butler and Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush star in Gods of Egypt.

Gods of EgyptCast of Characters:
Horus – Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Bek – Brenton Thwaites
Thoth – Chadwick Boseman
Hathor – Elodie Yung
Zaya – Courtney Eaton
Urshu – Rufus Sewell
Set – Gerard Butler
Ra – Geoffrey Rush

Director – Alex Proyas
Screenplay – Matt Sazama & Burk Sharpless
Producer – Basil Iwanyk & Alex Proyas
Rated PG-13 for fantasy violence and action, and some sexuality

In alternate world Egypt, the world is flat and ruled by gods who live among the mortal humans.

Well, looks like those flat-Earthers were right all along.

After a reign of peace, King Osiris (Bryan Brown) plans to turn his throne over to his son Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). However, during the ceremony, Osiris is killed by his jealous brother Set (Gerard Butler), who strips Horus of his power – his eyes – and banishes him the desert, then establishes a new regime powered by how often he shouts at his subjects in a gloriously over-the-top manner.

A year goes by and Set has taken Horus’s lover Hathor (Elodie Yung) as his wife. But there is hope and it is found in the peasant thief Bek (Brenton Thwaites), who forms an alliance with the blinded and exiled Horus in order to bring Egypt back to her former glory.

Much whining and crying and bitching and moaning has once again been made over Gods of Egypt whitewashed cast. I get it, guys. Ancient Egyptians weren’t white. They also didn’t speak fluent English and morph into a roided-up Goldar. Whatever, though, ’cause all these magpies bemoaning Hollywood racism in regard to this film’s casting have failed to take notice of the fifty million other things wrong with this film.

Yes, let’s just cut to the chase: Gods of Egypt sucks, and not just sucks, it sucks epically.

How bad does it suck? The Israelites not only would’ve preferred continued enslavement by the Egyptians over being subjected to this film, they might’ve just gone the extra mile in voluntarily offing themselves at the hands of the 10th Plague’s Angel of Death.

There are so many things wrong with this film, I don’t even know where to begin. Given the talent involved both in front of and behind the camera, there came a point, somewhere around halfway through the film, where I was beginning to wonder if I was being pranked. There are moments that don’t just border on unintended hilarity, they leap across that line and go pedal to the metal past it (Elodie Yung cooing sweet nothings to a demon serpent is the film’s low point) so, in a perfect world, I’d like to believe that everyone attached to this shit-show aimed to pull the wool over the entire world’s eyes.

The only other possibilities are the money was just that enticing, or God forbid, they actually had faith in the quality of this product.

Or there’s the wildcard – the producers had blackmail dick pics of the cast and crew.

Gods of Egypt’s problems begin from the word go. The title suggests that this is about an epic battle between gods, but the two immortal foes we’re led to believe will lead the charge from all the advertisements largely take a backseat to some Egyptian poster-child for Tommy Hilfiger played by Brenton Thwaites (Thwaites’s casting shouldn’t be criticized because he’s a white guy playing an Egyptian, but that he’s playing the primary protagonist and looks like he’s 3-years-old). Not only does the film bait and switch the gods for the baby-faced Bek (whose petty thieving introduction is such a ripoff of Aladdin, I wouldn’t be surprised if Disney gearing up to bitch slap the producers with a lawsuit), it also benches their immortal struggle for power in favor of Bek’s incessant whining over wanting to resurrect his dead girlfriend.

The cast is a talented assortment of young and veteran talent (with the exception of Brenton Thwaites, who, aside from Oculus, has done very little to convince me he can bring anything to the screen other than a fresh face), but such talent is on paper only as there isn’t a single effective performance in sight, a big disappointment given what those involved have shown what they’re capable of in other vastly superior projects – Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in Game of Thrones, Gerard Butler in 300, Rufus Sewell in Dark City and The Illusionist, Chadwick Boseman in 42, Get on Up and the upcoming Black Panther, Courtney Eaton in Mad Max: Fury Road and Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush.

It’s not just that there performances are surprisingly bad, there’s also no consistency between them. It’s as if each of them thought they were in a completely different film. Butler’s simply vomiting out a horrendous, saliva-spewing retread of his scene-chewing Leonidas from 300. His horrible performance is accompanied by an equally horrible subplot revolving around him ripping out what looks like LED body parts from the other gods to make I guess some super god. Even as bad as his performance might be, it may have been somewhat excusable if onscreen rival Coster-Waldau matched his over-the-top tone instead of just playing Horus like a dull, straightforward hero. Thwaites must’ve mistook this film for a dopey chick flick; Chadwick Boseman, in his first and hopefully last God awful performance, tries and fails at whatever bizarre effete shtick he’s doing; and Geoffrey Rush looks wore out and utterly devastated, as if halfway through making this mess he finally realized he sold his soul to the Devil for a quick paycheck.

What’s most shocking about Gods of Egypt isn’t so much those in front of the camera, but the man behind the camera. Alex Proyas may not be a household name like Spielberg, Scorsese or Hitchcock, but this is still the same man that gave us The Crow, one of the best comic book adaptations of all-time and Dark City, one of the best sci-fi films of the past 25 years. I, Robot, while not as good as The Crow and Dark City, was still a stylish, entertaining Will Smith vehicle and even though Knowing was a mess and nowhere near as good as those aforementioned three films, there was still something intriguing about its premise (that and I do give the film bonus point for having the balls to end the way it did).

Proyas has an ambitious vision and a unique eye for style that’s been put to great use in his best films, but it’s clear here that his best days are long behind him. Even from a visual standpoint, Gods of Egypt is catastrophic garbage. Far too often, the CGI is terribly obvious, and when it isn’t, it’s still difficult to discern whether you’re looking at a shot that’s animated, CGI or live-action (Seventh Son also had a similar problem). In fact, the CGI is so poorly rendered here, the green screen outlines surrounding the actors should’ve been given their own character credit.

Look, here’s the bottom line – the story sucks, the humor sucks, the acting sucks, the CGI sucks and the action sucks. You know what Proyas should’ve done? Pushed for a hard R-rating and pump the film with so much gratuitous nudity and violence it dulls our senses into paralysis by the 10-minute mark. Would the film still have sucked? Absolutely, but at least all those pointless titty shots would’ve done what it could to hold my attention.

Gods of Egypt is easily the most punishing waste of talent that I’ve seen this year, and to think there’s still 10 long months left to go in 2016. Between the phoned-in performances, the shockingly awful CGI and the millions upon millions upon even more millions of dollars you can practically see burning away on the screen, this monstrosity is so bad, Moses could’ve spared Egypt of 10 plagues by just showing Pharaoh this film instead. He would’ve had the Hebrew slaves out the door and gone by the 5-minute mark.

I give Gods of Egypt an F (0 stars).

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