Like Immortals, but lighter. Like Thor, but zanier. These are my initial feelings and comparisons when thinking about Gods of Egypt – from the man behind Dark City and The Crow. Honestly, we don’t get movies like this often. Movies that are unabashedly themselves, without regret, and exist mostly to have bold, near visionary fun. Perhaps the most recent theatrical experience that was similar was Jupiter Ascending – a most uniquely individual film. Where that differs from Egypt is in how that world was built, from the ground up. With Gods of Egypt, anyone with a grammar school education is vaguely familiar with the adaptive material.
By no means is Gods of Egypt “terrible.” Misguided, bloated, bombastic and unpolished yes, but not quite “terrible.” By no means is Gods of Egypt “fun.” Attention-holding, visually progressive, colorful and packed with action, yes, but not quite “fun.” Ironically, if it had gotten closer to the “terrible” end of the spectrum, it would’ve been more “fun” to watch.
The movie has roughly the same plot as the first Thor. The throne of Egypt – represented here as the entire, double sided, flat planet – is about to be passed to the King’s son, when the King’s brother (Gerard Butler) arrives to brutishly usurp the proceedings. They are Gods, with specific abilities, and are worshiped by the mortal humans (mostly because they can shapeshift and are taller). Awkward Hobbit-like special effects photography, where characters of different sizes are presented on screen, make the devastatingly clear, fake CGI surroundings look head-spinningly tired and not up to snuff. It’s a sword and sandal style adventure film, but with Bert I Gordon skills, bordering on imaginative and foolish. It’s cool, seeing so many effects pieces being spliced together into one, but nothing here is being pushed forward or pushed cleanly. The seams are very easy to spot. Perhaps the bright color palette doesn’t help.
Geoffrey Rush lives on a space station/boat, where every day he battles an Earth eating galactic worm. Gerard Butler is a gentrified God, living among the people, with a noticeable Scottish accent. He makes the silliest of faces and grunts while winking at the camera. In fact, most of the actors wink to the camera, trying to give a dashing presentation. The only ones “dashing” are the audience. You know… for the exit. Zing!
That’s harsh. Gods of Egypt doesn’t suffer from being boring, but rather by being made like a hardly budgeted garage flick you make with community theatre actors. The whole town came together to make a movie, rallied around a fun idea, and what they lacked in talent they made up for with gumption. It’s odd, as today, anyone can just about make anything, with the smallest amount of money. And yet, someone like Roger Corman – the classic producer known for filmmaking on a dime – could’ve used this budget better and in a more compelling way.
It may not be boring, but it is empty.
Running on fumes, chugging along to the finish, Gods of Egypt isn’t very appealing or pleasing in any way shape or form. The only saving grace is that it could’ve been worse. Like, The Star Wars Prequel Trilogy worse. It isn’t that bad or embarrassing. Everyone in front of and behind the camera seemed to be digging in the goofiness, committed to a fun time. That can be infectious. “Can,” of course. It ultimately isn’t. Unless a guy and two robots were to make fun of it. Then a truly good time would be had.
2 / 5 *s
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