WARNING – SPOILERS AHEAD!
So, to give everyone a heads up, this is going to be a shorter review than usual for a couple of reasons. One is that I’ve been very pressed for time this week and am scrambling to get things done. The second is that there isn’t a lot to talk about where this movie is concerned.
With that out of the way, this is my review for Gods of Egypt, and wowwww was it bad.
I want to say good things about the movies I review, I really do. No movie is perfect and no movie is completely devoid of anything of value but here we are here in the doldrums of winter and even the humorous Deadpool isn’t giving me much to work with. So am I overreacting a little bit? Maybe, its not as bad as it seems?
Well, lets take a look at the plot.
In ancient Egypt, Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), the so-called Lord of the Air, is about to be crowned King of Egypt by his father Osiris. However, his uncle Set (Gerard Butler), God of the Desert, thinks that Horus isn’t deserving of the throne and kills Osiris before taking Horus’ eyes and stripping him of his power. Aided by a lowly thief named Bek(Brenton Thwaites), Horus must reclaim his eyes and stop Set from destroying the world.
If it sounds like a pretty standard plot that’s probably because it is. Right from the get-go, if you’re looking for something new in a movie that you’ve never seen before, this likely isn’t it.
I will give this movie one thing, it certainly looks pretty. With lots of shiny armor and doodads (the titular Gods literally bleed gold), and decidedly egyptian looking designs and architecture, it’s a lot of fun to look at. Admittedly, much of it is CGI but that doesn’t necessarily detract from the picture if you allow for it not looking over-realistic.
Beyond that though, it is just no fun to watch. The fight scenes are cool at first but the constant and needless slllloooo-mmmmoooo ultimately makes the action a chore to sit through. The dialogue isn’t much better. The whole cast, with the possible exception of Gerard Butler who gives some really hammy moments as Set, is doing their best with what they’re given but the script for this movie is absolutely atrocious. While watching in the theater I kept noticing the timing of the lines in each individual scene. Each line never seemed to be given proper time to settle before the next comes along. I don’t know if this was due to the acting or the direction but in either case the result is the same, we end up being distracted because the interactions of the characters don’t feel believable.
Furthermore, the plot is full of padding that makes for a movie that feels slow in spite of the amount of stuff that is going on in it, and the resolutions for all the characters problems are weak and too unearned. There’s a subplot with Bek and his girlfriend not making it to the afterlife because she is too poor to make it through the final gate. This is cool. It shows us the mythology of this world and how things work in a way that is truly intriguing. But it is too easily dismissed by the end of the film and feels false, doing a disservice to the movie as a whole and on top of that there is a “Sequel-beg” moment at the end that didn’t interest me at all, not because I necessarily think setting up future movies is wrong (though that’s a discussion worth having), but because I. Didn’t. Care.
Whenever I go with friends to see a movie, regardless of whether there’s a scene at the end, I make it a personal policy not to leave until the last of the credits have rolled. The reason I choose to do this is because a lot of people worked to bring me this entertainment and the least I can do for them is respect their efforts by waiting for the curtain call to end. I applaud every single person who works on a movie, from the acting and directing to the people who do the catering for the crews. They do things that I couldn’t imagine doing and they deserve recognition for what they do.
That being said, if I think a movie is bad, that isn’t a knock against the people who created it, its a knock against the creation itself. I believe a movie’s primary purpose for existing is to entertain the audience and this, in my humble opinion, is a film that is not entertaining. It is not worth the time or money you would spend to see it and in that light, I cannot recommend this movie. If you’ve seen the trailers and absolutely must see it to sate your curiosity, put a post-it note on your fridge and rent it when it arrives on Blu-Ray.
Next Week: We travel to a land where Rabbits, Foxes, and Bears live in anthropomorphic harmony together and, hopefully, I’ll be much happier in Disney’s Zootopia.