Release Date: February 26, 2016
Director: Alex Proyas
Writer: Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless
Cast: Gerard Butler, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Elodie Yung, Abbey Lee, Courtney Eaton, Brenton Thwaites, Geoffrey Rush, Rufus Sewell, Chadwick Boseman, Emma Booth, Bruce Spence, Bryan Brown, Emily Wheaton, Goran D. Kleut, Marisa Lamonica, Rachael Blake, Rachel Joseph, Wassim Hawat, Yaya Deng, Julian Stone, Alia Seror-O’Neill, Robyn Nevin, Alexander England, Matt Ruscic, Ishak Issa
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 127 minutes
Production Company: Pyramania, Summit Entertainment, Mystery Clock Cinema, Thunder Road Pictures, Lionsgate
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy
Country: USA, Australia
Budget: $140,000,000 (estimated)
Wow! There’s so much I can say, but I’ll try to keep it at normal length. I just have to wonder, at what point is someone supposed to realize they’re making an idiotic mistake; months before the release of a film is too late in my book. Though I’m just one person. Gods of Egypt is a creative, misguided attempt at depicting ancient Egypt in all its glory many years ago. The idea behind this film feels like the voice of a mature child that clashes his action figures together repeatedly. While it does have redeeming qualities, overall it is a huge middle finger to people of color. And that’s even more distracting than the over exaggerated cgi that filled the screen. It has one positive attribute that I’ll address later, but the other aspects leave me to believe the driving forces behind the picture were blind, deaf, and dumb.
So maybe that last thing I said was a bit much, but those involved need punishment. I don’t understand why Hollywood thinks it’s ok to make these types of casting choices. They failed on two fronts in that regard. I can’t help but think they don’t want people of color to be seen in a positive light. I have no proof, but can’t help how it feels. White dominance is all I can think of, and if they thought an audience of color wouldn’t notice, it’s even more insulting. None of the main cast are people of color, and even the White cast members were a horrific choice. During the prologue of the film we’re told about strong gods that have mystical, magical powers, and the only actor that properly fills this space is Set (Gerard Butler). Horas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is close but feels more like a model than a warrior king. I can assume they tried to be diverse with Thoth (Chadwick Boseman), who is a god of wisdom, but I’m not going to say he did well just because he’s Black either.
The best parts of the film are the choreography within the action. I’m a sucker for a great fight scene, and every moment of it was entertaining. It was well thought out and different than most of what I’ve seen before. It would’ve had a more memorable impact if those who wielded the power were properly chosen. It was creative to say the least. Mortals and gods were easily distinguishable, even if the final outcome wasn’t the best. The way gods could transform during battle was another interesting treat of something new. For the land of Egypt to be so rich, and full of resources, it did feel like the land always had more to give. The traps set in corridors, and the outfits of the armies and guards, all felt like a well-developed nation. I also thought what was beyond the living world was cool; possibly tied for the best part of the film.
As far as the story goes, it was simple enough, but the plot was ignored completely. Man takes your home. Recover. Then take it back. It’s not that well thought out, and doesn’t have to be, but the journey to get from A to B does. When a big event takes place, there wasn’t a clear indication of the passage of time. This is necessary to give the audience member an idea of how much damage has been done. Was the world crippled for a few days from this massive event or a number of months? This isn’t clearly answered. So even if an epic battle went down, I’m not sure if it really mattered. Being a slave for 1 day is much easier than 1 year. So the film never telling me how much the people suffered made everything feel wasted.
If you’re bored, don’t care for much substance, and just want to see a ton of pretty colors and magical powers being thrown around, there may be some enjoyment for you. Even if you’re not looking for the next Oscar winner, and want average entertainment, you might still have a problem. Not if you’re intoxicated though. Which may have been the case with mostly everyone involved off screen. This could’ve been a fun throw away popcorn movie, added to the collection, and played in the background when friends are over. Instead, it’s a misguided, horribly casted, Egyptian wanna-be, that focused on the visuals more than anything else.