Gods of EgyptTitle: Gods of Egypt (2016)
Director: Alex Proyas
Runtime: 127 minutes

From the guys who wrote Dracula Reborn and The Last Witch Hunter comes the next ancient history epic! Have you seen Clash of the Titans and its sequel? Played the God of War games? Do you get moist at the thought of a new hero seeking redemption and revenge? Then, oh, boy, is Gods of Egypt for you!

Horus loses his right to the throne of Egypt after his brother kills their father and rips out Horus’ eyes. Meanwhile, a boy loves a girl, and they become enslaved thanks to Set enslaving all of the human race. The girl, Zaya, works for Set’s architect and she asks her man, Bek, to sneak in and steal back Horus’ eyes. Stuff happens, people die, promises are made, and a quest for revenge with a team of eccentric characters goes on for two very long hours.

The plot of Gods of Egypt is silly. The Gods appear as giants to the rest of the cast, which is a neat trick on the camera, but is super silly. What’s even more silly is that all of the Gods morph into robotic, laser-firing creatures. Seriously. It’s like I’m watching an updated version of Big Bad Beatle Borgs set in Egypt.

The cast is good at delivering some of the corniest lines, and they do it with enough enthusiasm to choke a horse. Gerard Buttler is probably the strongest here as he shouts and kicks ass. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Stars as Horus, and he’s so bland and generic I can’t help but wonder why he would sign on to a project that is purely meant to be campy.

Think I’m crazy? Gods of Egypt film screams camp. There’s a scene where Bek and Zaya are riding in a chariot, and the green screen is laughably bad, to the point where it has to be intentional. Later on there is a scene where Bek and Horus are on this mountain with a river and waterfalls, and the entire set looks like it’s made out of plastic. Never once does a set look convincing in Gods of Egypt, most look and feel like a set. Don’t even get me started on when Horus flies to space to meet Ra, and we find out that the world is flat, and Ra flies a big ship and uses a chain to manhandle the sun, and he fights a demon with his big firebeam rod. Yeah, seriously.

Hell, even the dialogue is corny. There’s a scene where we meet Bek, and it felt like the thief moment was ripped right out of Disney’s Aladdin. I was half expecting him to bust out into song, but was sorely disappointed.

I also expected more from the guy who gave us Dark City, but director Alex Proyas feels completely out of his element here. The pacing is awful and the film constantly feels disjointed as our heroes just bounce from location to location. There’s a fair amount of action sprinkled in, and thankfully the morphing only happens in the beginning and the end. I imagine a few scenes near the end looked cool in 3D, but I wasn’t paying $10 more to watch it in that format.

Gods of Egypt tries to be campy, and it is, but campy is not something you can force and expect to be good. It’s one thing to make a film, and due to budgeting, and so on, it ends up being a little cheesy and silly. Instead we get a film that’s striving to hit all of these notes, and it feels like it’s trying to be something it isn’t. Instead of being entertained, I was bored, which is the same problem I had with the Clash films, but Gods of Egypt is definitely weaker than both of those combined.

one_star

Fandango


Chris Ranson
Film Critic at Cinefessions
Chris was raised on horror films, which gave him a deep love for the genre, especially its most quirky and offbeat titles (like A Nightmare on Elm Street 2). This love quickly turned into an obsession for cinema in 1997, when he decided he needed to see every major theatrical release. Video games (JRPGs), reading (anything but fantasy), and reality television (Survivor) are just some of his other passions. He's been with Cinefessions since 2013, and has been writing reviews all over the internet for the past twelve years.