Gods of Egypt (2016)

godsofegypt_2016_poster
Gods of Egypt (2016)
  • Time: 100 min
  • Genre: Action | Adventure | Fantasy
  • Director: Alex Proyas
  • Cast: Gerard Butler, Abbey Lee, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Storyline:

Set, the merciless god of darkness, has taken over the throne of Egypt and plunged the once peaceful and prosperous empire into chaos and conflict. Few dare to rebel against him. A young thief, whose love was taken captive by the god, seeks to dethrone and defeat Set with the aid of the powerful god Horus.

4 reviews

  • Quickie Review:

    When the god of darkness Set (Gerard Butler) forcefully takes over the throne of Egypt, the once great kingdom is plunged into chaos. A mortal named Bek (Brendon Thwaites) seeks the aid of a powerful god Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) to not only save his love Zaya (Courtney Eaton) but to also save Egypt from the tyranny of Set. Let’s be completely blunt, Gods of Egypt is a horrible movie! White washing is the least of its problems. The characters are either extremely over the top or wooden and boring, there  is no middle ground. The story has too many subplots, making it incoherent to a non-sensical degree. Then finally, you’re eyes are assaulted by CGI that looks like it’s been produced by amateurs, not nearly worth it’s $140 million budget. Gods of Egypt, gets almost everything wrong about filmmaking. Only thing saving it from a worse rating is its interesting depictions of Egyptian mythology, but that’s no reason for you to waste your time or money over this film.

    Full Review:

    I was actually looking forward to Gods of Egypt. I know I know, how can I say that right? Let me be clear, I had a feeling that this movie was going to be horrible, but I thought it had the potential to be a silly guilty pleasure. Unfortunately the movie is just guilty of being a crap-fest.

    Where do I even begin…? I guess the first moment I realised something is off was the first scene with the main human characters played by Brenton Thwaites and Courtney Eaton. Their love story felt forced and generic. When that’s the emotional hook of the whole adventure and it fails from the very beginning, then the whole movie starts with a weak foundation. How about the actors playing the Gods? They are completely over the top. Each of them take one character trait and amplify it to the max. Gerard Butler as Set is evil, so be prepared to see him be villainous for the entire movie. Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is cynical, well then get ready to see him complain and nag about his life. Chadwick Boseman is a wiseass, in that case he’ll be egotistical in all his scenes. There is no growth or complexity here, it’s all bland. As a result I couldn’t care less what happens to the characters. All the fights and action scenes are then meaningless.

    Which brings me to how horrendous the action scenes were. There are moments in the movie where you can’t believe this is a movie being released in 2016. The Mummy from 1999 has more believable CGI than this high school project called Gods of Egypt. There are literally scenes where the characters are standing still pretending to ride a horse carriage in front of a green screen with moving background. Independent YouTube content creators have better graphics skills for lower budget.

    Are you wondering: is at least  the story interesting? My answer to that is the question, uh… which one? Seriously there is just too much going on: Uncle-nephew rivalry, generic love story, adventure to retrieve an artefact, quest to bring a loved one back to life from purgatory. Oh my Gods of Egypt make up your Ra-damn mind! The characters are already boring and now we have to endure an endless stream non-sensical plot points. Essentially they took a mediocre game with multiple levels and boss fights, slapped on some tacky dialogue to connect the levels, labelled it Gods of Egypt and sold it to us a movie. Don’t buy it!

    The only redeemable aspect of this movie was that there are some cool depictions of the Egyptian mythology, the cyclical struggle of Ra and Apophis, Anubis, and land of the dead for example. More importantly the movie eventually ends so that’s a relief. Honestly, already in February the bar has been set so low for 2016 I’d be shocked if I see a worse film this year…

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  • “A gift from someone with great assets, and someone with very few. But when both die and are at the Final Gate… What is its value? I say we are equal.”

    I thought this would be something similar like “Exodus: Gods and Kings”. A historical story set in Egypt with immense scenery’s and an abundance of special effects. Well, it certainly is situated in Egypt. And the bag of tricks, full of kitsch and console-game-like special effects were exploited to the utmost. Only, now it’s not about a biblical figure but the mythological world of Egypt. Ancient Egypt where people and gods live alongside each other. It sometimes resembled “Gulliver’s Travels” since all those gods of Egypt have an imposing figure compared to the ordinary mortals. Ultimately, it’s a kind of historical “Transformers”. So, full of exaggerated action and impressive transformations into imaginative creatures.

    From the opening shot, it’s clear where the biggest amount of money was spent on. A gliding flight over the Egyptian landscape and arriving in a busy shopping street of Egypt. I thought this was already a delight to watch. We get to know Bek (Brenton “The Giver” Thwaites), a kind of Aladdin and a petty thief who succeeds in stealing a (probably in those days) fashionable gown for his beloved Zaya (Courtney “Mad Max: Fury Road” Eaton). And this leads us to the second, unavoidable story : the idyllic love affair. An Egyptian couple with a bright future in front of them and who’ll ultimately be victims of the core story. Eternal love, divine adoration for each other and languorous glances, are the obnoxious symptoms we are witnessing. Granted, it wasn’t overly annoying. And also this story introduces the most eye-catching prop of the entire movie. That heaving bosom of Eaton. I am almost sure that it does not comply with the usual proportions of that era, but it was the only thing that could distract me from all the other epic violence.

    Obviously you should watch this spectacle movie without thinking and let yourself be overwhelmed by the lavish fantasy world. The only thing that bothered me was that they tried to cram the entire Egyptian mythological world in this film. As a result, the pacing is scorching high. You’ve only just put yourself down in your cozy chair and two over-sized gods are already rolling all over the city center. A sort of re-introduction of “King Kong vs. Godzilla”. And so one action-packed scene after the other passes by. The fascinating situation about Anubis and the Underworld, two giant snakes writhing over a huge maze or some “Tomb Raider” platform stunt-work in the temple of Set (Gerald Butler). You won’t get bored. The most fascinating and crazy part was reserved for Geoffrey “Barbossa” Rush as the god Ra who’s pulling the sun with his floating spacecraft around a disc-shaped earth. I instantly wanted to reread books by Terry Pratchett.

    Concerning content you shouldn’t expect too much. And sometimes it’s quite illogical. Of course those gods always tend to have an easy solution when a problem occurs, which is an advantage for the subsequent course of the story. You can predict the outcome already from an Egyptian mile away. That’s no surprise either. And also the CGI wasn’t top notch sometimes in this sword-and-sandal. But this film is mainly judged based on the trailer (which I obviously haven’t seen because I try to avoid them studiously) and therefor is ripped to pieces by critics. Yet I find this somewhat exaggerated.

    Well it’s true. At all levels it doesn’t contain any profundity. But what do you expect of this type of movie? Highly intellectual conversations and thoughtful screenplay? You also don’t expect in a movie such as “Schindler’s List” diabolical fright moments or exciting car chases with stirring music? “God of Egypt” showed what I was expecting. Over the top spectacle and action which is digitally displayed in a partially successful way. It effortlessly transcends the level of any Asylum movie. Thank God.

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  • Alex Proyas’s return to directing following a 7 year hiatus couldn’t have come at a worse time. Just as the film industry was up in arms about the #OscarSoWhite debacle, Gods of Egypt arrived in cinemas boasting a near-all Caucasian cast despite being set in Africa. The demand for diversity in Hollywood duly followed, and rightly so, but the questionable casting isn’t even the worst thing about the film. Gods of Egypt is a bloated, garish and nonsensical piece of trash, the cinematic equivalent of Raheem Sterling’s bathroom. Is this really the same visionary who brought us The Crow (1994) and Dark City (1998)?

    Sadly it is, and it completes a steady quality decline in Proyas’s output which began in 2004 with his middle-finger to Isaac Asimov, I, Robot. On paper, the big-budget tale of Gods living amongst humans battling it out for the throne may seem like the perfect the opportunity for some campy, brain-on-auto-pilot fun. However, it fails to even offer any sort of camp appeal due to a cast either gobbled up by the video-game cutaway special effects or so utterly devoid of charisma. The main offender is Brenton Thwaites, a young actor who looks like he’s been custom-built to appeal to any teenage girls in the crowd. He plays Bek, a human living in a thriving Egypt governed by ten-foot Gods, and sadly he is our protagonist.

    Bek, along with his pretty girlfriend Zaya (Courtney Eaton), witnesses the handing-over of the crown from the abdicating Osiris (Bryan Brown) to his dashing and popular son Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). The coronation is rudely interrupted by Osiris’s uncle Set (Gerard Butler), who feels that the time has come for him to rule, killing his brother and ripping out his poor nephew’s eyes in front of a terrified crowd. With the Egyptians forced into slavery to satisfy Set’s greed and vanity, Bek, a talented thief, swipes the plans to Set’s vault in the hope of stealing back Horus’s eyes and assisting him in defeating his uncle. But when Zaya is killed after the successful theft, Bek strikes a deal with Horus to help guide him through Set’s pyramid in exchange for returning Zaya from the underworld.

    The main question lingering over the head of Gods of Egypt is why was this film made? For a modern blockbuster from a talented director, the film lacks maturity and brains. For a film possibly designed to appeal to fans of explosion-heavy sci-fi/fantasy extravaganzas such as Michael Bay’s Transformers franchise, the CGI is often embarrassingly bad. And for anybody hoping for a throwback to the kitschy B-movies of the 1950’s and 60’s, where giant monsters and grotesque gods mingled with us puny humans, you will find more charm in one frame of any movie involving the work of Ray Harryhausen than you will for the entire 2 hours of Gods of Egypt. The whole thing just feels oddly out of place, paling in comparison to even the most sickly of recent CGI-fests. Re-telling essentially the exact same story told a thousand times since Homer put ink to paper, this could be re-titled as A Simpleton’s Guide to the Hero’s Quest. Utter tripe.

    Rating: 1/5

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  • (RATING: ☆☆)

    THIS FILM IS NOT RECOMMENDED.
                
    JIM’S REVIEW: “And what god should I be…the God of Stupidity?” asks our hero in the loud and artless Gods of Egypt. And the answer is a resounding yes! A dumb glitzy fantasy that is closer to Vegas’ Luxor than any Egyptian wonder. Adequately directed by Alex Proyas, with a feeble script by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless (yet another yes), the movie is overproduced and makes no sense at all. It resembles a video game rather than a film, with one obstacle after the next and its CGI is mostly cheap looking and schlocky.

    The story (?) involves in-fighting among the gods as a common thief tries to save his Jasmine princess. The gods are titans amid puny mortal Munchkins, as they raise havoc on the masses. There’s lots of action, sci-fi creatures. and the men‘s pecs compete largely with the women’s cleavage to gain fanboys’ attention. But the movie is unintentionally laughable from the start and never can be remotely believable, due to the many outlandish sets and glittery skimpy costumes, not to mention the terrible dialog. (A majority of the film’s budget must have been spent on gold lamé.)

    NIkolaj Coster-Waldau, whose character lost his hand in the superior Game of Thrones, loses two eyes in this mess and most of his dignity within the first half hour. Gerald Butler plays his mean uncle and he grimaces his way through the film. Newcomer Brenton Thwaites lets his long flowing hair do the acting and should omit this sword and sandal wallow from his resume. Élodie Yung wears her showgirl outfits like the goddess she is. Rufus Sewell and Geoffrey Rush collected a paycheck.

    Gods of Egypt may successfully appeal to an eight-year-old mentality. It’s harmless and brainless. But the movie is not campy enough for real fun or serious enough for rousing entertainment. The filmmakers should have read the hieroglyphics on the wall. Bad. GRADE: C-

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