The only thing sadder than the shitfest known as the Metro Manila Film Festival, a “prestigious” film fest where the most corporate of garbage-tier movies reign supreme, is watching a movie that its director thinks is a masterpiece even when all evidence points to the contrary. Case in point, GODS OF EGYPT (2016): a movie so full of itself that its director suffers from the same delusions of grandeur that its characters deal with over the course of two bloated hours.
In this retelling of ancient Egyptian mythology where gods and mortals live together, the mortal thief Bek (Brenton Thwaites) answers the call of destiny when he helps the god Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) seek vengeance against the desert god Set (Gerard Butler) and free Egypt from his merciless rule.
Even on paper, GODS OF EGYPT never had a chance of becoming the fantasy epic Alex Proyas thinks it is because of the questionable artistic choices Proyas took but there was some potential for it to become a guilty pleasure like STARGATE (1994), a movie that portrayed the Egyptian gods as technologically advanced aliens.
Shut up, it was a 90’s thing.
At its best, the movie didn’t even look that bad thanks to cool visuals and the inspired idea of treating Egyptian lore the same way the STAR WARS trilogy did with its world building. If there’s one thing the movie can be proud of, it’s that its art department did a damn good job. But when a movie’s best feature is limited to the green screen and a fuckton of inconsistent CGI work that goes from passable to direct-to-DVD level shit in the span of a scene, that isn’t saying much for the rest of it.
For a movie that’s as basic as aspiring blockbusters tend to be, GODS OF EGYPT is a fucking nonsensical mess of ideas and elements taken from superior movies that the director thought would be cool to homage before making his story make any damn sense in the first place. It’s literally impossible not to nitpick throughout the entire movie given how much inconsistencies happens over the course of its overlong run time. From the little things like questioning how a fucking army can just tiptoe its way to the palace’s gates to stage what could be cinema’s laughably quickest coup-de-tat to wondering just what the fuck is up with the imbalanced power scales of the gods that go from limited to literal Deus Ex Machina in a second, GODS OF EGYPT has a lot of explaining to do that it never bothers with because its priorities were reserved for some of the longest and most boring action scenes seen since the entirety of TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION (2014). It says a lot when a movie’s dialogue is mostly made up of exposition that explains jackshit about the important stuff such as Ra’s (Geoffrey Rush) complete lack of a credible motivation given that he could’ve ended the movie’s entire conflict in the first fucking minutes of the movie if he gave the slightest of a shit.
The only thing that makes the whole story even more insufferable is the inane dialogue that tries to sound cool but doesn’t sound just outdated but obnoxious as well. Every time you think GODS OF EGYPT is bad, it somehow manages to be even worse than you’d expect. Everyone in GODS OF EGYPT’s otherwise capable cast acts like they’re on autopilot, reciting their lines with the least amount of fucks given only with the exception of Gerard Butler who was the only one in the entire movie who gave a shit about what he was doing even if his job was to be as hammy as possible. While pretty much everyone in the cast is a blank, it’s the main character Bek who’s by far the worst offender because it’s obvious he wants to be a cool roguish action hero while not even trying or giving a shit about something called emotional engagement. Hollywood has always had a history of making Bland Leads like TWILIGHT’s entire main cast but Bek could be a strong contender for the rare annoying breed of Bland Leads who you’d rather see slowly tortured to death instead of running into the sunset with his lover in tow. He’s a smarmy asshole who does nothing but bitch and mistake needlessly complaining for wit, he can only do anything slightly important by first saying the corniest possible one-liner his dumbass brain could conjure and to top it all off, he’s a gullible one-note fuckstick who wouldn’t risk a second passing by without him mentioning how his motivation for saving Egypt is fueled by the power of love. There’s nothing wrong with love being the central theme of any story but when it’s this forced, saccharine and cheaply established thanks to awkward exposition in the movie’s opening minutes where corny promises of “I love you” are repeated over and over again in the span of ten fucking long minutes, you’d wish these fucking lovers would just go all Romeo and Juliet on themselves and commit a pact of mutual suicide so that the movie would end faster.
GODS OF EGYPT should just be forgotten simply because it’s a fucking bad idea come to life but thanks to Alex Proyas’ now infamous rant against critics who didn’t like his obvious masterpiece, GODS OF EGYPT now stands as one of 2016’s worst movies and it’s a spot that only an Adam Sandler movie could take. Considering the controversy surrounding the movie’s whitewashed casting choices, it’s a wonder that nobody took aim at the movie’s greatest sin which was it being a fucking boring waste of time. It’s not the worst movie in existence but its overall shoddy quality and presentation will leave you wondering if God gives a fuck about bad movies depicting his/her/its holy kind but considering how little a fuck the supposedly almighty god Ra gave in this particular movie, the answer to that conundrum should be an obvious “No.”
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