Classic Review: Gods of Egypt (2016)

Since I’ve started this site, I’ve written a lot of reviews. In case you missed some of my earlier ones, I would like to share an older review of “Gods of Egypt” which originally appeared here.

The survival of mankind hangs in the balance when Set (Gerard Butler), the merciless god of darkness, usurps Egypt’s throne and plunges the prosperous empire into chaos and conflict. Hoping to save the world and rescue his true love Zaya (Courtney Eaton), a defiant mortal named Bek (Brenton Thwaites) forms an unlikely alliance with the powerful god Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). Their battle against Set and his henchmen takes them into the afterlife and across the heavens for an epic confrontation.

What do you get when you take a Scottish guy, a Danish guy, and a bunch of Australians? But a film about Egyptian people of course. More on that later. This was technically an early review because I did see it early but since there were late night screenings that day where I live, I decided not to call it an early review. The first impression I got from watching the trailer was that this was going to be an utter cheese-fest. After watching the film, this was confirmed but it’s not quite as bad as it sounds. In a land where gods and mortals live together, a man named Bek (Thwaites) who, in order to save his world and his true love Zaya (Eaton), must form an alliance with the god Horus (Coster-Waldau). They must also face the god of darkness, Set (Butler) who has usurped the throne and thrusted the empire into chaos and destruction. I would like to start off by saying that, cheesy or not, the film commits to what it was trying to build. The world they did create here was definitely fantastical to say the least, massive in scope and vibrant in color but unfortunately not real as I easily got the impression that the majority of it was a combination of CGI and green screen technology. This became more and more evident the longer I watched. Also this film does clock in at slightly over 2 hours so you’ll be seeing a lot of it. The visual effect were mostly well done but over time I found that they distracted us from the story. The CGI also made its way into the fight scenes as well, often making them hard to watch and nauseating. The camera often slowed down and characters often phased  between real and CGI. These effects added little to nothing to the film and it felt like they were just used for the sake of using them. The root of the story is simple but the journey to its predictable end lacks sense in certain areas but it doesn’t have to. It just wants you to turn off your brain and enjoy the visual effects and the such. I will admit that I kind of did. You remember the joke I made at the beginning? Their nationalities were evident in their performances, primarily Butler’s Scottish accent and Thwaites’ Australian accent. It was hard to take them seriously at times because of that. Despite that, Thwaites was still compelling to watch, bringing wit and charm to the role. Coster-Waldau was good here, playing a character very similar to Jamie Lannister but more good. Scottish accent aside, Butler was good at being a gruff, bad guy. Pretty much if you forget that they’re supposed to play Egyptian people, it doesn’t seem as bad. Overall, this is another classic example of style over substance. While there is nice scenery to look at, the rest just doesn’t match up. If you’re looking for some mindless fun, then this may be for some.

Score: 5.5/10

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