Gods of Egypt (2016)

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 lover was taken captive by the god, seeks to dethrone and defeat Set with the aid of the powerful god Horus. Sigh.

Starring: Brenton ThwaitesCourtney EatonNikolaj Coster-WaldauElodie Yung, Gerard ButlerRachael BlakeBryan BrownChadwick BosemanGeoffrey RushGoran D. KleutAlexander England & Rufus Sewell and directed by Alex Proyas.

 

Gods of Egypt, if it were to be described as a combination of other films, would be the lovechild of Transformers and Suckerpunch. Now, you you would well within your rights to point out that neither of those films have anything to do with Egypt; and I would agree with you. But nor does Gods of Egypt. They do however focus so much on CGI effects and looking spectacular that the story is lost or not even developed in the first place. This film takes only the shallowest glance at Egyptian mythology before warping and distorting it to fit whatever shape its Hollywood script manufactory needed it to.

The trailer for this film promised what I interpreted to be a new genre: Cairo-punk, full of desert light and shining metal cities with the gods walking among men. The film does indeed open with such effects and, for the most part, they carry on throughout but even the CGI was sloppy when it came to the action sequences.

Let me spell out each of the major ways in which this film failed:

Story. Evil guy wants to be king and kills his brother to become king. His nephew has to kill the evil guy and cant do it without the help of a plucky human (for some reason). Blerg. We have all heard it a million times before and this movie adds nothing of interest into the equation. It is boring as soon as it starts with the exposition and continues on with child-like simplicity of a fourth grade book report.

Source material. Egyptian mythology spans literal millennia. The fact that this film decides to just become just another thinly veiled version of Hamlet is just laziness. ANY of the vast epics told within Egyptian mythology could be considered more original and inventive than just drawing on the good old reliable well of cliches. Not to mention more culturally appropriate. Speaking of which...

Casting. Now this is a common complaint with a lot of recent films. But this film really takes white-washing to a new level. Set in ancient Egypt and the vast majority of the cast is white! Scroll up and have a look at the names in the cast list. Go on, go do it. Now, how many of those names look Egyptian to you? We get them same mix of pale Anglo leads with the same token people of colour as usual. I don't really know what more I can say about this. It is just a shame.

Long story short there is no reason to see this film. It does not have the beauty of Suckerpunch, nor the comedy of Transformers. The white-washed cast are as beige as the story-telling and the action is forgettable.

Just don’t bother.  

- Zane C Weber

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