Gods of Egypt is Hollywood's newest big fantasy blockbuster set in Egypt with Danish, Scottish and British actors playing Egyptian gods who bleed gold and are able to transform into chrome battle suits fighting against monster...oh boy.
Judging from the trailers alone, Gods of Egypt felt very much like an Egyptian version of the Clash of the Titans remake. But with boundless creativity being obviously on the forefront here, Gods of Egypt could very well have all that it takes to catapult a seemingly ludicrous movie concept to a fan favorite guilty pleasure cheese-fest.
Is Gods of Egypt actually worth a watch or at least "so bad, it's good"?...or is it just bad?
Set (Gerard Butler), 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 (Brenton Thwaites), whose love was taken captive by the god, seeks to dethrone and defeat Set with the aid of the powerful god Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau).
Gods of Egypt's story starts off in a fictional ancient Egypt, where the Egyptian gods rule over earth realm. But not just in a spiritual sense but literally. Instead of the people praying to them, the gods in Gods of Egypt are actually there in the flesh ruling over the human race...also they bleed gold for some reason.
Right from the get-go you instantly will get to know that Gods of Egypt demands huge suspension of disbelief. Though it can be fairly said that, just as any movie, Gods of Egypt as a pure fantasy action flick has every right to use creative imagery in its setup, story and visuals in whichever way it pleases, creativity has to be balanced the right way. With that said, even though Gods of Egypt's setup and introduced ideas are admittedly quite creative, they are also ridiculously silly. This however wouldn't be too much of a problem if Gods of Egypt wouldn' take itself as seriously as it unfortunately does.
Very much so as the movie's quite narcissistic director Alex Proyas himself, Gods of Egypt indulges in its world and imagery, though to such a point that you can actually tell that the movie thinks it's way smarter than it actually is. While in the meantime, audiences will scratch their heads asking themselves questions like "Where are the pharaos then?" or "Why do the gods' guards bleed gold as well...are all of them gods too?"
|"Where did our pharaos go again?"|
In short, Gods of Egypt's story is very heavy on lore and universe building (in order to set up a sequel). Yet Gods of Egypt's lore simple isn't able to grip your attention and interest as much as it thinks it does.
With a storyarc of a thief who teams up with a fallen god to reclaim his throne from the movie's villain, it's a story that audiences have seen hundreds of times already. And while the movie's set-pieces and ideas sure enough try to keep you awake during the course of the movie, they barely manage to, since it doesn't take long till the movie somehow stumbles over its own bloated lore. It all results in many of the already silly sounding concepts in Gods of Egypt ending up being more confusing than investing to the audience.
At the latest when Anubis, god of death, appears in front of yet another godly trial that decides over one's fate in the afterlife by whether or not you give them worthy enough jewelry (!) that viewers will absolutely give up.
What further doesn't help is the movie's heavily inconsistent depiction of the different gods, whereas their abilities and powers are just as much all over the place as their weirdly defined personalities. Thus, it won't take long till even the most simple minded viewer will notice that the only reason that there are actually gods in this movie is only for the movie to have an excuse to have Egyptian pharaos fight with superpowers against a variety of monsters. Nothing more.
|Transformers: Egyptian god's in disguise.|
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Horus is the most forgivable acting performance in the movie. Even though of course Coster-Waldau's performance here is nowhere near as good as his best and most popular work in Game of Thrones, he does just enough to give you the feel that he actually "tries" to care about what his character is going through. Horus thus manages to come off as the most interesting and likable in the movie, yet this isn't saying too much. He is the archetypical "spoiled god fallen from grace, who now has to work his way up again and learn to be grateful and gain new human friends along the way".
|"Time for a new game of thrones, I guess."|
Gerard Butler as Set is the one hamming it up the most along with some good cheesy line delivery on top. Butler's performance as evil god Set, who dethrones Horus and takes over Egypt to throw it into chaos, is actually quite hard to really put the finger on: Either it's the case that Butler simply didn't give any s!#t about the movie whatsoever, or he simply really enjoyed acting in the role just as he pleases. However the case may be, it gets clear that Butler had no clear directions given by director Alex Proyas in the slightest here. Therefore, it always feels like either Butler is uninspiredly acting through his scenes or sometimes simply really enjoying just going with a stereotypical comic bad guy here.
Another main role in the movie is Bek, a young man and thief who steals Horus' eyes back to help the god reclaim his throne. He is played by actor Brenton Thwaites and by god...he has to be one if not the most bland and most untalented actors in Hollywood. It's immensely puzzling as to how this guy managed to even get a foot in so many big budget productions (he also was in Maleficent).
Aside from Bek being as interesting and complex as yesterday's cheese that fell behind the fridge, Thwaites' line delivery and acting performance is just shockingly monotone. This goes to such a level that it becomes some kind of talent to actually be able to speak every single line in the movie in the same disastrously annoying and unfittingly polite British-accent and tone like Brenton Thwaites does. Even during the supposedly most heart wrenching scenes in the movie, like his beloved girlfriend dying and passing on to the afterlife, he neither sheds a single tear nor changes his "goody two shoe" face according to the tragic scene that just took place in front of him. Brenton Thwaites seriously makes Megan Fox look like Meryl Streep in comparison.
Oh, and famous and critically acclaimed actor Geoffrey Rush? He plays uber-god Ra who constantly looks like a bored big glowing Pinata, living on a holy golden sailboat in space and who is trapped in an endless battle throwing burning spears at a galactic chaos monster...no joke.
I guess he just really needed that paycheck. Poor guy.
|"Who let you talentless hack into Hollywood?!"|
But despite all that, is Gods of Egypt's action at least entertaining? Well...mostly not.
As you can easily see from the trailers alone, Gods of Egypt is a huge CGI-fest. With that said, while the action choreography alone is actually quite unimpressive, it's actually the effects in the movie that take the cake...in the worst way possible: The CGI in Gods of Egypt mostly looks really cheap and unfinished.
While there admittedly are scenes where the effects actually look alright and on par with current industry standards (like the giant snake fight), most of the movie's effects really make you question, where the actual budget went.
With either the movie having been rushed through post-production or the budget going rather into marketing, either way, something definitely went horribly wrong here.
However, even though Gods of Egypt definitely is strongest when it comes to its several set-pieces, those are way not as engaging as they are made out to be in the trailers. Mostly due to the lack of any good characters or a good story, the action and big effects moments in the movie come and go without leaving any noticable impact. It's a clear example of a big bloated blockbuster action experience being half-heartedly slapped together. It's action moments that are definitely watchable yet not fulfilling in the slightest - and the movie's bad occasional jokes don't help there either.
If there is one truely positive thing to say about the effects, it's that Horus' and Set's chrome transformers-like suits at least show how awesome a live-action movie of the cartoon series "Mummies Alive!" would be.
|One of the few actually decent looking effects in the movie.|
Overall, nobody expected Gods of Egypt to be anything more than a forgettable, mindless CGI-action romp, yet seeing in just how many fundamental ways the admittedly creative yet ultimately just ridiculously silly Gods of Egypt fails, makes one seriously question where all of the movie's big 140 Mio. dollar budget went.
From an uninspired run-off-the-mill storyline, overly convoluted and just silly ideas, to half-assed acting performances and heavily inconsistent effects, Gods of Egypt misses its mark in seemingly every aspect imaginable.
Looking at its sheer story alone, Gods of Egypt is honestly not that much worse than any of Michael Bay's Transformers sequels. What ultimately though will nevertheless put Gods of Egypt even below those for many people, is the fact that the movie simply feels slapped together and rushed, resulting in a huge mess where even the simple task of entertaining with huge mindless CGI-extravaganza (like Michael Bay repeteadly does) couldn't be accomplished here.
Seeing how obviously little time and true effort the makers put into this movie, movie goers shouldn't either and simply skip Gods of Egypt entirely.
It's just a messy, highly forgettable blockbuster-wannabe that couldn't even get the absolute most basic blockbuster formula right and resultingly ended up feeling like a misguided bad videogame instead.
Final Verdict: 2 out of 10