Gods of Egypt contains all the trappings of the genre you’d expect. Mighty monsters, treacherous tombs, giant animal-robots fighting on spaceships, the standard stuff. In fact, by the time these ‘gods’ are warring above a Pratchett inspired disc-world, even the title of the movie seems questionable; this isn’t any Egypt I’ve seen before, and these gods would look more at home in the Transformers franchise.
Proyas’ interpretation of Ancient Egypt is imaginative, but unfortunately Gods of Egypt ends up a disappointment as glimmers of a brighter movie shine through infrequently. Great ideas are lost to poor execution, and a muddled and overstuffed plot means you can’t even call this film ‘brainless fun’. The visual effects are often laughable; the idea of the gods looming above the humans is intriguing, but poorly implemented through botched green-screen work – although it must be said that the gods’ alternate action-figure forms are undeniably cool. While early action sequences show some flair, sadly the film’s third act descends into the repetitive meaningless mass destruction we expect from modern blockbusters.
Generally, whilst Butler and Boseman bring energy and a sense of fun by committing to chew the scenery as best they can, most of the cast struggle to sell the slapdash script. Characters are mostly one-note, and half the time that note is ‘bland’. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s inherent charisma is wasted as gruff Horus, female characters are underwritten and appear intermittently, and the less said about Brenton Thwaites’ Bek the better.
Despite stilted dialogue and a runaway plot, Gods of Egypt is a lot of fun when it works. Sadly, this isn’t that often – but if anything about a 10-foot-tall golden falcon-man throwing Gerard Butler through a pyramid sounds appealing to you, then you’re in luck.
CAST: Brenton Thwaites, Gerard Butler, John Samaha, Courtney Eaton, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Chadwick Boseman
DIRECTOR: Alex Proyas
WRITERS: Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless
SYNOPSIS: Set, 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, whose love was taken captive by the god, seeks to dethrone and defeat Set with the aid of the powerful god Horus.