Friday, February 26, 2016

Gods of Egypt - Review

    As far as sword and sandal epics, getting them exactly right it a difficult task. Apparently really difficult as Gods of Egypt is a pretty sound example of what not to do. From a majority of bad performances to bad effects that look a decade old already, Gods of Egypt takes everything interesting about Egyptian mythology and lays it into a superhero type story.

    The future of mankind hangs in the balance when Set (Gerard Butler), the god of the desert, takes Egypt’s throne by force and plunges the great empire into chaos and conflict. Wit hopes of saving his love and the world, a mortal named Bek (Brenton Thwaites) forms an alliance with the fallen god Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). The journey is long and takes the pair into the afterlife and even the heavens above.

   Now I’m no expert on Egyptian mythology, but I’m fairly certain that turning gods like Set and Horus into what can only be called overly emotional action stars can’t be historically correct. And yes I know it’s a movie and things will be changed, like making every character white in Egypt, but the film still feels very simplistic.

   As far as performances go there isn’t much to say. The actors are never given good dialogue to begin with but a lot of the delivery is awful. Gerard Butler is over the top and can’t be taken seriously as a villain, but isn’t completely bad (minus a few slips in accent). The kingslayer himself, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, has much better days playing the charming Jaimie Lannister on Game of Thrones, but still never reaches the truly bad mark here. The best performance throughout is from Elodie Yung as the goddess of love Hathor. She is the rare character that has any sort of empathy and actually hits her emotional moments. Perhaps she stands out because of how mediocre everyone else is, but still I have to give her some credit here for hitting the moments she needed to.

   The director, Alex Proyas, has been out of the game a little too long. This film, released in the year 2016, would’ve fit more in line with the era Proyas last directed a film in, which was 2009 if you were wondering (and 2004 before that). The CGI is god-awful and you’re likely to see better in the newest video game trailer. But the underwhelming, boring action and lack of integration into the backdrop don’t help either, and what’s left is exactly a film that would’ve come out in 2004.

   Overall, Gods of Egypt is just an awful film, somehow not as bad as I expected, but still awful. The performances are all bland, with no help from a bad screenplay, and the CGI in the even more bland action sequences in so awful it’s almost hard to look at, especially in the unnecessary 3D. The lush prospects of an Egyptian mythology film are wasted here, replaced with a boring story with few redeeming qualities. (2.5/10)

So what did you think of Gods of Egypt? Have you seen it? And what's your favorite Sword and Sandal epic? Share, Comment below, look for the final part of my Oscar Predictions later, and remember to always return to I Am Sam for weekly reviews and insight. 

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