Trailer for Don't Kill It starring Dolph Lundgren
Sam Raimi working on a Bermuda Triangle movie
Black Sheep: Jennifer's Body
Trailer for Colossal starring Anne Hathaway
Next American Horror Story will focus on the 2016 Election
Kong: Skull Island clip reveals Godzilla connection
Leatherface screenwriter spills his guts
The Raid remake coming from Joe Carnahan and Frank Grillo
NSFW trailer for The Void!
Exclusive: Jordan Peele talks Get Out and Get Out sequel!
Face-Off: Pacific Rim vs Godzilla
Movie Review: XX
Director ALEX PROYAS is behind two of my favorite films of all time: THE CROW and DARK CITY. In my book the man is an "auteur" with a very distinctive style one that has yet to fully shine within the big budget Studio system. The “Will Smith cheapened it” I,ROBOT and the forgettable (well to me anyways) KNOWING starring Nick Cage were ideal examples of that. Now I didn’t know much about GODS OF EGYPT before going in other than the fact that I was rooting for it to own for Proyas sake! So did I pick the right badass to champion? Read on!
If you’ve seen the trailer, you know exactly the kind of film you’re in for: an eye popping, totally out there, style over substance exercise in excess with all kinds of coin thrown at the screen. And last I checked...NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT! GODS OF EGYPT was the equivalent of a tapping roller coaster ride on acid; it served up a basic premise (good guys on one side, bad guys on the other, a quest and a 2 love stories in the center) and then LET HER RIP oh so fervently! Proyas (and his DP Peter Menzies Jr. who also did CLASH OF THE TITANS) were in solid form here offering up a visually dynamic showcase. I’m talking sweeping areal shots, novel camera angles and a potent use of slow motion. The aesthetics were mucho engaging on the whole and had me smiling from ear to ear.
And the same went for the flamboyant costume and insane set designs which made me check my water bottle a couple of times to make sure somebody didn’t slip a “trip out” mickey into it. The creative juices were free flowing on this one and I for one appreciated the effort to give me something fresh and bold to take in! I was well served in terms of casting as well. Game of Thrones alumni Nikolaj Coster-Waldau rocked that shit as a flawed hero who grows via his journey. NOTE: Big fan of that Snake Plissken-ish eye patch he was pimping right here! On his end, Gerard Butler not only looked fantastic (dude got in serious good shape for this one) but he was simply hypnotizing as the ruthless yet charismatic villain. Rufus Sewell , Geoffrey Rush, Chadwick Boseman, the lovely Courtney Eaton and MAD MAX FURY ROAD actress Elodie Yung also filled up the cast nicely, bringing our two leads able support. Add to all that some insanely well choreographed fights and actions scenes, organic moments of humor that worked, a rousing score by Marco Beltrami, some truly novel scenes (like the afterlife) and all kinds of nifty beasties and you get a vacuous yet fun romp at the movies!
On the flipside; I felt for Brenton Thwaites here. Now don’t get me wrong he did okay with what he was given; but that was the problem, he was given very little to play with. His “love story” lacked passion and when something awful went down (like the death of a loved one) he emoted nothing. His occasional banter with Horus aside, it resulted in his character basically being little more than a plot device. Think a poor man’s version of Jake Gyllenhaall’s Dastan in Prince of Persia. I'm not sure who to blame here: his potentially limited range or the creative forces that chose to give zero meat to chew on even when circumstances called for it. Either way, there was no reason for this key character to be so damn flat.
The overuse of CGI also got to me after a while. I am very much aware that creating a film of this scope with practical effects would have been a bitch and half to pull off but when your film starts to come off more like a video game than an actual movie, you know you’ve gone too far with the digital schtuff. Finally the last act got fairly lazy in terms of writing even for a film of this ilk (the "super" villain was defeated too easily and I really could have done without that rushed version of Dumbo the Flying Elephant’s feather plot device). But to be honest by that point my brain was so numb that I didn’t’ really give a shit.
On the whole GODS OF EGYPT was a well paced (the 127 minutes flew by) and mucho entertaining flick! I think critics will rip into it but audiences will have fun. Where it lacked in depth, it made up in creative mayhem set free! It’s definitely a big screen experience if I’ve ever seen one. The 3D and the mammoth scope of it all made sure of that! I say bring the kiddies or/and the kid in you this weekend and have a blast!