Even before its release, ‘Gods of Egypt’ sparked furious debate. Not about quality but for the mainly white cast playing Egyptians. Whilst this sort of thing was acceptable in the early to mid 20th Century, such blight is now frowned upon. Adding to its faded lustre is ‘Gods of Egypt’s dud screenplay. Derivative of other sword and scandals epics, it fails to add much new. But in Hollywood there’s no such thing as bad publicity with the curious sure to view this white-washed disaster no matter its low quality.
Set (Gerard Butler) is the Egyptian God of Darkness who savagely takes over the throne of the Egyptian empire. Ruling with an iron fist, not many dare to confront him. One who does is Bek (Benton Thwaites) who teams with Egyptian God Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) to defeat him. On a mission to save the world, Bek stops at nothing to rid Egypt of Set’s unrelenting terror.
Entertainingly bad, ‘Gods of Egypt’ is a train-wreck of a movie. From the over the top acting, dodgy CGI and diabolical dialogue, hardly anything works. Director Alex Proyas has done much better as ‘The Crow’ and ‘Dark City’ attests. ‘Gods of Egypt’ sees him on auto-pilot, showing no imagination in telling a compelling story in a very by-the-numbers effort. Whilst the action scenes are completely ridiculous in a fun way, the script’s mechanical nature exposes the film’s cynical heart.
Seeing local actors Bryan Brown and Geoffrey Rush playing Egyptian priests adds to the illusion of unreality. Although ‘Gods of Egypt’ is meant to be a fantasy, it wouldn’t have hurt to have had Egyptian actors involved. This white-washing raises the uncomfortable spectre of the ‘Black and White Minstrel Show’ from the ‘70’s. There’s no excuse for this although this simply adds another bad mark against a typically bloated and grotesque slice of Hollywood excess.
Every decade has its expensive cinematic follies with ‘Gods of Egypt’ taking this year’s crown. Despite it being amusing in a bad way, it’s an exercise in celluloid folly one hopes isn’t repeated even if such mis-fires have been mainstays in Tinsletown’s wayward history.
Movie Review Rating out of 10: 1
Movie Review by Patrick Moore
Agree with Patrick's Movie Review? Then please use the comment box.
Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.