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Gods of Egypt
Genre Fantasy
 
Review:

Gods of Egypt is a fantasy adventure from the mind of Alex Proyas. The Egyptian-born director has built a cult sci-fi empire, having directed such films as: Dark City, The Crow, Knowing and I, Robot. The story follows a thief as he joins forces with a mythical god on a quest across Egypt. Unfortunately, while the film brims with potential under Proyas and a star-studded cast, it's a complete misfire.

The ensemble includes: Gerard Butler, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Brenton Thwaites, Rufus Sewell and Geoffrey Rush. Butler plays the villain, Set, and brings the beleaguered spirit of Frank Miller's 300 to the film. He's typically ferocious and professional, but restrained by the film's limitations. Coster-Waldau seems to be in on the joke as Horus, giving the odd wry smile that makes you wonder if he's thinking what we're thinking. Thwaites is likable as Bek, but easily confused with an agile hobbit. Elodie Yung is elegantly poised, while Rufus Sewell and Geoffrey Rush are at odds and out-of-place.

Gods of Egypt is derailed by a myriad of flaws from story to style. The less-than-convincing mythology is foisted upon us as we descend into a green screen world, which like 10,000 B.C. could've been set in another galaxy. Egyptian gods live among humans and the sheer size of the gods in comparison with the mortals is the first uneasy step in the misadventure as we try not to laugh as knee-high humans clear a path.

As if dimensions weren't enough to contend with, Proyas has given the gods alter-ego CGI warrior selves, allowing the action to enter a Transformers-style CGI frenzy. The rules governing their vampire-like transformations aren't carved in stone and they move from sword-and-sandal to superhero armour battle mode without touching a button. The progression moves from one unreality to another deeper unreality and this jars with the flow of the visuals and genre.

This fantasy adventure borrows bits-and-pieces from better films, aiming for epic but landing in camp. Almost every scene employs some CGI gimmick and while it keeps the eye playfully involved, it never engages us at a cerebral level. Bad guy, good guy, little guy... the action moves the story forward in a predictable manner, but you're too busy being distracted by the flaws to care for the characters.

Gods of Egypt is like a blend of Clash of the Titans, The Mummy II, Prince of Persia and Immortals. The epic gods-and-mortals world echoes Clash of the Titans as battles and mythology take the spotlight. However, we're less convinced of our heroes than we were of Sam Worthington as Perseus and the CGI is even dodgier. No wonder no one wants their name on the movie posters.

The Mummy II presents itself in the setting and tone, except it doesn't have the fun, charm or chops to match this CGI fantasy adventure sequel, while Prince of Persia is evidenced in the gleaming and fanciful desert adventure. Sadly, the visual decadence and name stars are the only thing going for it... echoing Immortals, but feeling more like a video game.

Gods of Egypt's uneven storytelling, CGI-heavy environment, restrained performances, less-Egyptian-than-Exodus: Gods and Kings casting and unintentional laughs make this epic... an epic failure. At one point, you start wondering if they're going to pull a From Dusk to Dawn stunt to reinvent the film, but it plods along... semi-conscious of how ridiculous it is, but too embarrassed to admit it. If Seth Rogen and his crew had been in it, it may have worked as a stoner comedy, but as it stands you'll find yourself bemused at best as you ponder this shiny mess.

The bottom line: Clunky

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