Saturday, 6 August 2016

Gods of Egypt (2016)

Against a backdrop of Egyptian pyramids, an ensemble cast of Egyptian gods and humans on differing scales pose.
Blasphemous Filming

Director: Alex Proyas
Running Time: 127 Minutes
Starring: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Brenton Thwaites, Gerard Butler, Courtney Eaton, Elodie Yung, Geoffrey Rush, Chadwick Boseman, Rufus Sewell


At the coronation of Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), the merciless God of Darkness named Set (Gerard Butler) usurps the throne from his nephew, plunging Egypt into chaos and conflict. When a mortal thief named Bek (Brenton Thwaites) has his love taken from him, he makes an alliance with Horus to dethrone and defeat Set.

40 minutes into the picture, there's one scene which perfectly encapsulates how much Gods of Egypt is keen on forging its own bewildering path. Our lead characters reach their destination to visit Ra, the sun god who lives in what's essentially a space ship above Egypt, where he fights off a shadow beast that tries to devour the Earth and the afterlife on a daily basis. One should admire how director Alex Proyas brings such disparate elements together, even if it's in an unintentionally humorous manner. But when the film delivers such moments in a manner this disastrous and dull, it becomes a chore to sit through.

The script, written by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, delivers a messy plot of random elements thrown together in such a generic way, while proving often incoherent and dull. The focus seemed to be more on delivering some form of humour, as every other line of dialogue delivers some feeble attempt. With each passing try, the concept of it actually funny seems more improbable.

Amidst the assembled cast, only Gerard Butler stands out, for his relentless scenery chewing. The remainder of the cast bring to the table bland performances, which fail to bring life to their thinly written characters. But the most glaring problem has to be the effects work, which feels without effort considering the quality of effects already seen this year. Had somebody told me this picture was held back from release for years, based on the quality of the effects work, I'd be inclined to believe them.

Gods of Egypt is a bewildering mess of a picture, and not even in an entertaining way. Considering his recent complaints about critical opinion, the idea of Alex Proyas learning from mistakes made here are more fantastical than anything seen in this picture.

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