Gods of Egypt Movie Review

Year: 2016

Rating: M

Length: 127 minutes

Main Cast: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Brenton Thwaites

Chadwick Boseman

Elodie Yung

Gerard Butler

Geoffrey Rush

Distributed by: Summit Entertainment

Lionsgate

Directed by: Alex Proyas

gods-of-egypt-fiery-poster

Written by Nelson Cumming

This was not a good day at the movies. Needless to say, God’s of Egypt will hopefully be forgettable at best. The only reason it will not be forgettable will be because it was bad enough that it seared into my memory bank. Most of the material goes into the former but some belonged to the latter. Gods of Egypt is full of cinematic errors, boring characters, a poorly recycled plot and odd sequences. There were only one or two scenes moments where my disbelief was suspended and I was into this film (That is a good thing). Not surprisingly both of them involved the great Geoffrey Rush and even then he did some stupid stuff too! With a cast that involved Gerard Butler, Brenton Thwaites, and Nikolaj Costar-Waldau, Gods of Egypt tried to create a story that was inundated with action sequences that fell flat. Unfortunately, what little “story” they had fell flat too.

Horus (Nikolaj Costar-Waldau) the good grandson of Ra is the antihero of the film when the antagonist Set (Gerard Butler) defeats him in a fight and ruled Egypt with an iron fist and intolerable cruelty. The fight leaves Horus blind by Saul gouging his eyes out and thus robbing him out of all his powers. Because of this, Horus lives in exile. A young man called Bek (Brenton Thwaites) discovers where Horus’ eyes are stored and works with Horus to retrieve his eyes (sounds really stupid doesn’t it), defeat Set and restore peace in Egypt.

There were several little things that were wrong with this film and it was not because Caucasian actors did play most of the ancient Egyptians. That is just the tip of the iceberg. There were many issues that were worse that included the following:

  1. Choppy editing
  2. Poor scriptwriting with even poorer delivery from the actors
  3. Bad moments of cinematography and lighting (oh my God)
  4. Morals of the story that are pontificated throughout because this filmmaking craft of portraying these morals was either inept or bad enough that I didn’t care.

Those were some (not all) of the bad elements in this film that caught my attention. There were edits in this film where a character would be holding something and then they cut to a different angle of the same character (note they did not cut away) where the thing they were holding vanished out of thin air. Another example of the editing debacle occurs when Horus has his blindfold covering his eye sockets and when he collects one of his eyes the camera cuts to a different angle where Horus’ blindfold is up so we see him beginning to put his eye back into his socket. I did not see the part where Horus actually had to lift his blindfold to put his eye back in. It was the same choppy editing seen on any YouTube blog. That is the best way I can explain it.

All the lines spoken from this film had no variety and rarely had a hint of emotion. When Bek says, “The only man that can save us is Horus” he says it as flatly as if he was saying the weather forecast. The actual script was the boring same old thing that is typically heard in most films in the ancient Egyptians with lines along the lines of “If you betray me, you die” and “Only the strongest man can be king of Egypt!”

There was one scene in the film at the beginning that involved warriors reflecting Horus’ light beams with their shields. The only problem with that is those light beams reflected straight into the camera and directly into my eyes causing me squint and nearly look away. It was like if someone reflected light from their phone or watch into your eyes at high school except the beams were five times brighter and they did it ten times per second. I thought it was just my eyes because they are mildly light sensitive. However I heard critics had the same problem and it is much worse if you are watching it 3-D. I was spared because I watched it in 2-D.

Finally, there were morals in the story that had to be pontificated (meaning the characters had to say the morals of the story, instead of presenting these ideas in a way the audience can relate to). Morals pontificated included: humans need to have free will so they can make good and bad decisions, which is why evil cannot be eradicated; Rewards in life and the afterlife should not be determined lots of material possessions. Instead fate should be determined by the deeds that people make and finally true love conquers lust and greed.

So on this day, I shall say that this is one of those late summer blockbusters that did not get really good at all. I was surprised Geoffrey Rush accepted this role because he is just so much better than what was on offer. He tries so hard to be good and convincing but the script just did not let him work his magic. He stole the show to be honest. Even though Rush only got about 10-15 minutes of screentime in this 127-minute debacle. So I had to watch 115 minutes of this film Geoffrey Rush free. Unlucky me. DUD.

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