Straight out the gate, I did not enjoy Gods of Egypt. I didn’t enjoy the story, or the action, or the special effects that take up a hefty amount of this film. But I am going to say something truly outrageous. I don’t think I watched it in the right environment. This is bombastic, over the top, truly and utterly popcorn nonsense. To be fair to director Alex Proyas, I feel like that’s exactly the thing he wanted to make. So, in that regards he has succeeded, I just wish I wasn’t checking my watch the whole time.
Mortal hero Bek (Brenton Thwaites), a young thief whose love gets taken by the Gods, teams up with the God Horus (Nikolaj Coster Waldau) to save his love and to dethrone the evil Set (Gerard Butler). Set has taken over Egypt and threatens to bring nothing but chaos and conflict into this once peaceful place During Bek and Horus’ adventures they meet more Gods to assist them in a race to save not just the girl, but everyone in Egypt.
It’s perhaps unfair to speak mainly of special effects more than plot contrivances, actors or the overall direction, but this film is insane in its special effects. It’s so busy that it’s clear the team creating these effects were spread too thin throughout the development of this large two hour epic. The saddest aspect of this is that it shows some of the films worst effects in the very opening. Throughout the monologue-heavy beginning we get a pan into the town, and while I love blue skies in films, in this one all the flaws come out too clearly. It’s hard to hide some of the techniques when you place them in plain sight. I would be remiss if I didn’t say that they tried and there are some moments; such as the sight of giant snakes chasing the heroes through some Egyptian architecture, where we see beauty that is quite artistic and deserves some credit.
Acting-wise Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is not quite leading man material, at least for this film. His performance goes through so many types of whispers and yelling and each time he does the voice sounds different and inconsistent. It’s hard to believe the nonsense he is delivering when he himself doesn’t believe it. It actually requires Gerard Butler to turn his villain character, Set, up to 100 in order to make Horus seem like a hero opposite. It’s also important to note that Captain Barbosa (Geoffrey Rush) is in the film, bringing none of his tremendous skill into an admittedly pretty one note character.
I started saying that maybe I watched it in the wrong environment, that perhaps watching it alone at home wasn’t its intention. But in saying that, all action films could argue this same point. However, I think that in this case maybe there might be potential for cult viewings, ala with Batman and Robin or Battlefield Earth or something of that ilk. Movie nights where audiences can revel in the truly outrageous action on screen. Truthfully, I would consider seeing the movie again in that environment.
For further details on Gods of Egypt, including where to buy or rent it, head over to the Entertainment One website.
SUMMARY: In many ways Gods of Egypt is a bad movie, but I will concede that there is nothing else quite like it and while there’s probably a good reason for that, there is something quite spellbinding about it. But with that all being said it’s still a very hard film to recommend. There’s insanity and more than enough bang for your buck, but it is just as unbelievable as a whole as the CGI.
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John Wood is most known for being opinionated loudly in public but choosing the silent option in Telltale games. Usually found hidden in the corner of the nearest cinema, John is passionate about film and his childhood love in Nintendo.