Review: Gods of Egypt Left Me Wondering If I Could Get Those Two Hours Of My Life Back
Title: Gods of Egypt
Director: Alex Proyas
Screenwriter: Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless
Principal Cast: Brenton Thwaites, Courtney Eaton, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Gerard Butler, Elodie Yung, and Chadwick Boseman
Summary: Mortal hero Bek teams up with Horus in an alliance against Set, the merciless god of darkness who has usurped Egypt’s throne, plunging the once peaceful and prosperous empire into chaos and conflict.
I didn’t have much in the way of faith when it came to Gods of Egypt. If the casting of various white people in a movie about Egypt wasn’t enough to set my teeth on edge then the few trailers I saw before movies weren’t making me feel any better. However, the movie also looked completely ridiculous and I’ve seen sillier premises come out stupidly fun before. I wasn’t feeling confident though and I was hoping with the complete lack of expectations that it might save the movie even a little for me.
I’m going to come out and say this right now; it wasn’t okay when Exodus: Gods and Kings filled its cast with a bunch of white actors and it is still not okay in Gods of Egypt. We live in a modern world and we need to come to terms with the fact that Egypt is in Africa and thus was not populated by these fair skinned individuals. I know that some of the cast are supposed to be literal gods but even then I can’t excuse it. This needs to change and it needs to change now. The various actors in this movie are across the board awful and after awhile I started to preoccupy myself with trying to figure out where I’ve seen these people before. Chadwick Boseman? You’re going to be Black Panther in a few months. Courtney Eaton and Abbey Lee? You were two of the wives in Mad Max: Fury Road. Elodie Yung? You’re Elektra in Daredevil. Everyone is so awful here, though, that all of that good casting for projects down the line has made me nervous for the future.
The actors aren’t helped by a script that features some of the worst dialogue I’ve heard in a movie in a long time. It feels stilted and forced in a way that comes off like writers Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless have never actually heard what people sound like in conversation. The story doesn’t make any sense while these terribly CGI gods, whose defining characteristic is “being very tall”, trudge around in costumes that look so uncomfortable that no one would actually wear them. The story makes no sense and any attempts at jokes, at one point token human Bek (Brenton Thwaites) makes a ‘it’s up your butt’ snark, are eye rollingly dumb.
If all of this wasn’t bad enough the running time of 127 minutes just makes everything worse. I keep a notebook and pen in hand to take notes while watching films and I started to doodle. I haven’t started to doodle in a movie since Fifty Shades of Grey last year. The structure also felt oddly like a video game and I say that as someone who loves video games. The main character go to this location and solves the puzzle to get the trinket. Main character loses love of his life as motivation to continue story. Main character teams up with another character to increase the overall level of the party. They go to locations and fight the mini boss until it’s time for the final boss and credits. I suppose it feeling like a video game because the special effects look like something out of a Playstation 2 era cut scene.
Gods of Egypt is a bad movie that felt like it was trying to be camp and failed miserably. Camp isn’t something that you can force and it is painfully obvious that Gods of Egypt was trying to be a PG-13 version of 300. That movie was at least visually interesting, but after watching this movie I’m wondering if I can file with someone to get those two hours of my life back.