Few things in 2016 looked quite as ridiculous as the trailer for Alex Proyas' Ancient Egypt-set epic Gods Of Egypt. The film itself turned out to be just as over-the-top as expected and, although it did well internationally, the movie bombed domestically and critics panned it.
One of the first things to turn audiences off was the controversial casting of white actors as Egyptian gods. While definitely not the best decision from the producers, I would argue that this is the least of this film's worries. Besides, realism isn't exactly what we should look for in a fantasy film as out there as this. The plot follows young thief Bek (Brenton Thwaites) as he helps God Of Air Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) to fight back against Set (Gerard Butler), the God Of Darkness, who has taken over Egypt, stolen his lover and even his eyes. Bek is hoping that the gods will bring back Zaya (Courtney Eaton), his girlfriend who was killed by one of Set's men. Making a big blockbuster about Ancient Egyptian gods could have definitely worked and director Alex Proyas deserves some credit for, at least, trying something different and being extremely ambitious.
You can tell a lot of money went into making this film and yet some of the visual effects still feel unfinished or clunky and it's obvious that it will all look dated in about a year. That's a shame because a lot of the effects are pretty decent but, unlike the superior Wrath Of The Titans, they are much too inconsistent. Prince Of Persia suffered from similar problems to Gods Of Egypt: uneven visuals, corny jokes, lazy script, bland performances, gaping plot-holes. While this movie has a decent cast on paper, some of the actors are either miscast completely or just not very good. Brenton Thwaites is particularly annoying as Bek, a kind of Aladdin-esque hero who belongs in a straight-to-video Disney movie, Geoffrey Rush looks lost in a sea of blurry CGI as Ra, Gerard Butler looks uninterested throughout and Élodie Yung does her best with the awful lines she's been assigned.
This needed a lot of fixing for it to work and it's a shame that a director as capable and inventive as Alex Proyas was responsible for such a silly film. It should please fans of flops and bad blockbusters but everyone else's mind should start wandering at about the half hour mark. Even though it's a new film, you can file this one under early 2000's madness, right next to Scorpion King.
Ra-ther watch something else.