FILM REVIEW – ‘GODS OF EGYPT’ (2016)

Friday, February 26, 2016 marks the official release of Gods of Egypt – directed by Alex Proyas, and staring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Gerard Butler, Elodie Yung, Brenton Thwaites, and Geoffrey Rush. Nerd Nation Magazine was in attendance two days earlier for the official press screening courtesy of Lionsgate, Allied Marketing, and Regal Cinemas.

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How did Gods of Egypt measure up?  Read on to find out!

We open with Egyptian God Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau of Game of Thrones) who is about to receive the throne of Egypt from his father, Osiris (Bryan Brown, Kill Me Three Times). All of Egypt has come out to celebrate, except Set (Gerard Butler, Olympus Has Fallen). Just as Horus is being crowned, Set shows up and ruins the whole thing by killing his brother, Osiris, and blinding Horus. All this we get from the previews. Set, then kills of most of the rest of the other gods for a reason not made clear until close to the end of the movie.

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(image courtesy of Lionsgate)

So, where does our human thief come in? Good question. Egypt under Osiris was full of equality and happiness. Entry into the afterlife was based off of good deeds. Under Set, Egypt is divided between the slave class and the rich, and entry into the afterlife is based on the wealth you have to offer from this life. In other words, if you show up to the gates of heaven/paradise/what have you without a golden parachute, you will never enter. The human thief, Bek (Brenton Thwaites, Maleficent) is in love with a girl, Zaya (Courtney Eaton, Mad Max: Fury Road) who convinces him to help Horus. There’s a big thing that happens, and then, Zaya is killed. Because she has nothing to offer Anubis but her “smile,” she will not be allowed to enter the afterlife.

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(image courtesy of Lionsgate)

In order to save Zaya from destruction, Bek must help Horus in his journey to defeat Set. Of course, Horus is just in it for revenge against Set, but there’s a lesson that has to be learned before his journey is complete.

Time to tear it down bit by bit.

First off, why is this movie cast with all British or United Kingdom based actors? I had that question before I went into the movie. Don’t get me wrong, all of the actors played their parts well, but could they not have used actual Egyptians or you know, someone from the Middle East? Second, what was with the Greco-Roman armor used in a movie whose time period was set PRE-Roman invasion? Third, the dialogue in some instances was disjointed and juvenile.

Oh well, I suppose it’s no different than African-American Will Smith playing historically Caucasian Deadshot in the upcoming “Suicide Squad” movie, or Caucasians playing historically Asian characters in ‘insert-live-action-anime-movie-here’, or Hispanics cast as Native Americans in ‘insert western movie here’, or any number of Hollywood “race-washing” that goes on. Not trying to be that person (the ‘social justice’ types will most likely do enough of that elsewhere – probably on Tumblr) just saying it does look very weird in a movie that’s supposed to be about ancient Egypt. So sure, I might be a bit petty in my complaints here, but come on Hollywood, you blow $140-million on a movie that is 75% CGI, at least the writing could be cleaner. Or at the VERY least, you could get it somewhat historically accurate (or even just slightly believable), maybe. Anyway, I digress.

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(image courtesy of Lionsgate)

The CGI was pretty epic, though. There were only a few parts that needed work, and that’s actually really good for a movie with that much of it. The story line was what you would expect of the traditional hero’s quest (conflict, quest, resolution). Perhaps it was just a tad too formulaic. The 3D was well done (when they finally got it working in the theater) though, I’m not sure it was really necessary for this film.

The Bottom Line:
Overall, Gods of Egypt was an “eh, okay” film. It was enjoyable for what it was, even if it all felt a bit phoned in. It was your classic “big budget blockbuster” featuring spectacular effects with less than spectacular writing. I understand it’s a fantasy/epic film, but a little more help with the suspension of disbelief could have went a long way here, and a little less “wow that’s cool,” and a greater concentration on plot and dialogue and you might even have a great film. As it is, however, it’s just pretty average. -6.0/10

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-Hannah Collins
Staff Writer: Nerd Nation Magazine
@NerdNationPress

 

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