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Review: Gods of Egypt

Gods of Egypt
02.25.2016
4 10
 

PLOT: The fate of the world hangs in the balance when the evil Egyptian god of Darkness, Set (Gerard Butler), claims the throne of Egypt as his own. Now, mankind’s only hope is the legitimate heir, the fallen god Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and a streetwise pickpocket named Bek (Brenton Thwaites) who set-out to restore balance among the gods.

REVIEW: Over the last few years, February has proven itself to be a rough-time for studios to release big-budget sci-fi epics. Despite genre favorite Alex Proyas at the helm and a lavish budget, GODS OF EGYPT follows in the tradition of other wannabe-tentpoles like JUPITER ASCENDING and WINTER’S TALE.  GODS OF EGYPT is even worse in that it doesn’t have the camp appeal of those infamous flops, with the 127 minute wannabe epic coming off as a big, bloated prototype of empty CGI spectacle at its worst.

Forget all the controversy surrounding the white-washed casting of a Dane, a Scot and a bunch of Australians as Egyptians. This is not the first movie to do something like this, nor will it – sadly – be the last. GODS OF EGYPT, significantly, has even bigger problems. First and foremost is the story, which is so videogame inspired that it’s ludicrous. After a brief intro to set things up, where Coster-Waldau’s vain Horus gets his magic eyes torn out by his mean uncle Set, it becomes a long, quest narrative, the likes of which you’ve seen dozens of times before. After Thwaites’s Bek helpfully recovers one of Horus’s eyes,  the heroes have to go around collecting tokens in order to defeat the big bad – who has tokens of his own – with the idea that Horus can’t get his full-power back until both of his eyes are restored.

Along the way there are a few big set-pieces but no suspense or intrigue whatsoever. A little romance is introduced via Bek’s endangered lover, the pure-hearted Zaya (FURY ROAD’s Courtney Eaton) and Horus’s former flame, Hathor – Goddess of Love (the beguiling Elodie Yung), but none that gets beyond a few longing glances and some gooey melodrama. At least Yung gets to join-in on the quest for awhile, poor Eaton is given absolutely nothing to do.

The worst thing about GODS OF EGYPT is how clumsy it is. The idea here is that the gods are giants compared to puny mortals, but the effects making Thwaites seem shorter than Coster-Waldau and Yung are never convincing. Even worse is the fact that Yung’s eye-line occasionally seems to be at the wrong height when addressing him, something that could have gotten a quick fix but only adds to the patchwork feel of the movie.

Likewise, some really good actors are given horrible material to work with, with Chadwick Boseman in particular getting a poorly conceived part as Thoth, the God of Wisdom. Being the only non-white male lead, one would expect Boseman to be prominent, but Thoth is used mostly as comic relief, with the character being given an effeminate touch that isn’t played-well at all. The same goes for eighties Aussie-legend Bryan Brown, who plays Horus’s wimpy dad in the prologue, and is forced to mouth dialogue that would be all but impossible for even an actor of his stature to make sound cool or significant. Only Geoffrey Rush seems to be having any fun as Ra, playing his scenes mostly for camp effect, a move that seems quite canny given the movie he’s acting-in.

As for the leads, while Thwaites is OK as the athletic pickpocket Bek, Coster-Waldau doesn’t have the presence to carry a massive tent pole movie on his back. Horus feels too much like a slightly watered-down version of Jamie Lannister, and his eventual transition to selfless hero comes-out of nowhere. He might have been better suited for Gerard Butler’s role, and vice-versa, with Butler’s star-power being wasted on a relatively minor bad guy part.

Despite all of this, GODS OF EGYPT does have a few small things going for it. The movie has a clear, bright look which is a nice contrast to today’s darker blockbusters, and works relatively well in 3D if you see it in IMAX. The score by Marco Beltrami is also quite energetic and better than the film deserves. There’s also one touch by Proyas that I thought was clever, with the Earth depicted as flat with the sun revolving around it (as per the ancient theory) establishing a wild, mythical vibe that could have gone a long way towards establishing a far-out tone. Too bad he wasn’t able to sprinkle any anymore cool ideas like that in, as GODS OF EGYPT winds-up being far closer to something like I, ROBOT than THE CROW or DARK CITY.

It’s always a shame when a big, ambitious effort like GODS OF EGYPT falls-flat, but it can’t be denied this is a pretty epic misfire and ultimately just a lot of empty spectacle. Very young kids and maybe some undemanding teenagers may have a little fun with it, but otherwise it’s best avoided and seems unlikely to spawn the sequel the ending sets up.

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Source: JoBlo.com

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+0
5:06PM on 02/29/2016
Fuck this piece of shit garbage.
Fuck this piece of shit garbage.
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1:01PM on 02/26/2016
I'm hard pressed to think that anyone thought this would be good. After the awful trailers, displaying their abysmal special effects, how could anyone possibly think this was going to be any good? I don't even particularly care about the controversy, which is as much as a staple of Hollywood as a movie like this. There's a reason this got a February release.
I'm hard pressed to think that anyone thought this would be good. After the awful trailers, displaying their abysmal special effects, how could anyone possibly think this was going to be any good? I don't even particularly care about the controversy, which is as much as a staple of Hollywood as a movie like this. There's a reason this got a February release.
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12:27PM on 02/26/2016

Not great, but not that bad

Gods of Egypt was a tremendously ambitious film that was marred by inconsistent CGI, a jumbled story, subpar acting, and horrible 3D use. However, I enjoyed it! Yes, it is a big, dumb CGI fest, but it can't be said that it doesn't entertain with it's over the top set pieces and creatures! The concept and art direction were great. The CGI looked great half the time, and Playstation quality the other half. I think if they worked another 6 months on the effects, it would have been a lot better.
Gods of Egypt was a tremendously ambitious film that was marred by inconsistent CGI, a jumbled story, subpar acting, and horrible 3D use. However, I enjoyed it! Yes, it is a big, dumb CGI fest, but it can't be said that it doesn't entertain with it's over the top set pieces and creatures! The concept and art direction were great. The CGI looked great half the time, and Playstation quality the other half. I think if they worked another 6 months on the effects, it would have been a lot better. But, I was happy with them for the most part, and forgave the subpar scenes mainly because they even attempted to cram so many interesting concepts into the movie. They really do go balls-out with their ambition, whether it works or not. The script is bad (of course), and the actors don't help it, but I've seen worse. I saw it in 3D, and can say that it really ruins the film. With the effects being spotty, the 3D only enhances the bad portions and makes them stand out more. Bad green screen keying is evident through 3D,much more than 2D would be. Also, the size of God's compared to humans does not look good in 3D. Add all that to the fact that the glasses mute and tint the color, and bring the brightness down a stop or two, it is definitely not the way to watch a movie such as this, where vibrant colors are meant to be seen, and subpar effects could squeak by in 2D much easier.

Overall, I'd give it a 6/10.
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12:30PM on 02/26/2016
Oh,another thought. ..the movie totally felt like a throwback to all the 80's adventure flicks that came out after Raiders of the Lost Ark. If I was 6-12 years old and watched this (especially back then), it would have been the coolest thing I had ever seen!
Oh,another thought. ..the movie totally felt like a throwback to all the 80's adventure flicks that came out after Raiders of the Lost Ark. If I was 6-12 years old and watched this (especially back then), it would have been the coolest thing I had ever seen!
12:11AM on 02/26/2016
Did Bumbray have a problem with Idris Elba playing Heimdall for the same reasons?

[link]

[link]

Why no, he didn't have a problem with "fan favorite" Heimdall at all.

Did Bumbray have a problem with Idris Elba playing Heimdall for the same reasons?

[link]

[link]

Why no, he didn't have a problem with "fan favorite" Heimdall at all.

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11:55PM on 02/27/2016
Asgard is a fictional realm...Egypt is a real place where black people's history has been tainted over and over again by white privilege and white supremacy that colonized majority of Africa so it's an uphill battle for blacks to get remote representation of their culture to any degree of authenticity. White people are not fighting for roles nor did white people ever have to fight, as a culture of migrated people having had their identity stolen by slavers, for white people to play white
Asgard is a fictional realm...Egypt is a real place where black people's history has been tainted over and over again by white privilege and white supremacy that colonized majority of Africa so it's an uphill battle for blacks to get remote representation of their culture to any degree of authenticity. White people are not fighting for roles nor did white people ever have to fight, as a culture of migrated people having had their identity stolen by slavers, for white people to play white characters in a major way.
+1
12:04AM on 02/26/2016

Several turds a year

Every year several big cgi turds like this are released. Big budget flops. Who are these suits who keep green lighting these? 30 seconds into the trailers and you know it will fail. Crap story, crap characters, crappy cgi to smooth it over.
Every year several big cgi turds like this are released. Big budget flops. Who are these suits who keep green lighting these? 30 seconds into the trailers and you know it will fail. Crap story, crap characters, crappy cgi to smooth it over.
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8:56PM on 02/25/2016
I imagine I will find this to be somewhat enjoyable. I actually liked Pompeii that was released a few years ago around this time. It was cheesy but actually not half bad. Probably won't catch it in the theater, but I will go see Triple 9. ..
I imagine I will find this to be somewhat enjoyable. I actually liked Pompeii that was released a few years ago around this time. It was cheesy but actually not half bad. Probably won't catch it in the theater, but I will go see Triple 9. ..
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8:20PM on 02/25/2016
Too bad considering the talent involved; looks like most of the effort went towards the special effects and unfortunately not towards the actual storyline and characters.
Too bad considering the talent involved; looks like most of the effort went towards the special effects and unfortunately not towards the actual storyline and characters.
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8:10PM on 02/25/2016

I disagree...

...even though I agree with Chris Bumbray's reviews most of the time. I knew people would dislike the movie, ever since the first trailer popped in, and it got all the negative comments. Frist of all, about this "white washing", ancient Egyptians were not black. Not white either, but not black. And does it really a problem? Did the performance of Laurence Olivier as Othello (a character who IS black) bothered anyone? No.
I felt this movie is like Clash of Titans or Prince of Persia. It's not
...even though I agree with Chris Bumbray's reviews most of the time. I knew people would dislike the movie, ever since the first trailer popped in, and it got all the negative comments. Frist of all, about this "white washing", ancient Egyptians were not black. Not white either, but not black. And does it really a problem? Did the performance of Laurence Olivier as Othello (a character who IS black) bothered anyone? No.
I felt this movie is like Clash of Titans or Prince of Persia. It's not flawless. It's absolutley forgetable. It's 15 minutes longer than it should be. But it's entertaining!
The CGI is cartoonish at times, but the production design, the cinematrography is great, and I liked the actors and their characters. Chadwick Boseman had the best part in the movie. Minor role, but I loved every second of it. And I liked that the main duo wasn't coventional (neither of them is a comic relief). I love the Egyptian myth, and this movie's world was creative and visually great to look at.
And thank Gods, it didn't ended like "It's only a part 1 of a franchise". No, it was ONE movie.

Once again, it's not for everyone, but it is for some. I didn't regret I watched it.
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11:28AM on 02/26/2016
Are implying that there are only 2 races in the world, names white and black ppl?

"First of all, about this "white washing", ancient Egyptians were not black. Not white either, but not black."

What the hell are you even talking about. Its a movie set in Egypt and uses almost entirely white actors in the lead roles. The actors chosen did not fit the area where the story would have taken place and were predominantly white, that is why it's a 'white wash'. Where this nonsense of "Egyptians
Are implying that there are only 2 races in the world, names white and black ppl?

"First of all, about this "white washing", ancient Egyptians were not black. Not white either, but not black."

What the hell are you even talking about. Its a movie set in Egypt and uses almost entirely white actors in the lead roles. The actors chosen did not fit the area where the story would have taken place and were predominantly white, that is why it's a 'white wash'. Where this nonsense of "Egyptians weren't black its not a white wash" is even coming from escapes me.
12:15PM on 02/26/2016
LOL this is the most ignorant thing a person trying to not be racist could say. You are right, Ancient Egyptians are not White nor Black...they were Egyptian. Egyptians were a mix of Asia Miner/Middle [link] When you take that and mix them up, I am pretty sure they don't look like a Australian guy.
LOL this is the most ignorant thing a person trying to not be racist could say. You are right, Ancient Egyptians are not White nor Black...they were Egyptian. Egyptians were a mix of Asia Miner/Middle [link] When you take that and mix them up, I am pretty sure they don't look like a Australian guy.
1:14PM on 02/26/2016
vesaker: Why are you asking that am I implying there are only 2 races? I never said that. Infact, I state the opposite. There aren't just two.

guile: You didn't contradict me. That's what I'm saying, they were Egyptians. With a different skin color.

I agree that it was too much that the guy who played Bek had blonde hair. But all the other actors? Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Gerard Butler, Geoffrey Rush fit in. Why? Because they are playing GODS. They are playing deities, that never-ever
vesaker: Why are you asking that am I implying there are only 2 races? I never said that. Infact, I state the opposite. There aren't just two.

guile: You didn't contradict me. That's what I'm saying, they were Egyptians. With a different skin color.

I agree that it was too much that the guy who played Bek had blonde hair. But all the other actors? Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Gerard Butler, Geoffrey Rush fit in. Why? Because they are playing GODS. They are playing deities, that never-ever existed. It's not a historicly accurate movie (as like Troy or Alexander tried to be), it's not a documentary, it's a FANTASY movie. And the director has every right to chose actors of any kind of nationality or skin color, if he thinks they fit the characters well.
10:41AM on 02/27/2016
You people who say ancient Egypt was neither white nor black, you think you're being racially fair but really are you are is dead wrong. You don't know what you're talking about. Ancient Egypt was founded by black Africans. They left the Sahara when it was drying up and migrated south and east. The ancient Egyptians themselves said they originated from the Land of Punt or Ta Nteru, which is located in the horn of Africa. The Greeks referred to the Egyptians as black. Herodotus said it,
You people who say ancient Egypt was neither white nor black, you think you're being racially fair but really are you are is dead wrong. You don't know what you're talking about. Ancient Egypt was founded by black Africans. They left the Sahara when it was drying up and migrated south and east. The ancient Egyptians themselves said they originated from the Land of Punt or Ta Nteru, which is located in the horn of Africa. The Greeks referred to the Egyptians as black. Herodotus said it, Aristotle said it, and even the Egyptians referred to their land as Kemet, which means black. (Although people still insist it refers to the soil not the people.) Then there are numerous sculptures and paintings to back it up. Having said that, throughout the many dynasties of ancient Egypt, there were other ethnic people who ruled over Egypt through invasion. There were the Hyksos who were Semetic, the Persians who were white, and the Greeks who were white/Macedonian. The Arabs came in after Egypt fell and really changed the makeup of the people. But if you want an idea of what the ancient Egyptian people looked like, just look at the people of the horn of Africa: Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, etc.
8:05PM on 02/25/2016
Sometimes you just have to take a paycheck
Sometimes you just have to take a paycheck
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7:00PM on 02/25/2016
Knew it. You could see this is a p.o.s. from outer space. Stevie Wonder could see what a pile of crap this is.
Knew it. You could see this is a p.o.s. from outer space. Stevie Wonder could see what a pile of crap this is.
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6:13PM on 02/25/2016
c.b. is so p.c. its annoying
c.b. is so p.c. its annoying
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7:59PM on 02/25/2016
Everyone is over-correcting and being way too P.C. about everything.
Everyone is over-correcting and being way too P.C. about everything.
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