Review: ‘Gods of Egypt’ (Alex Proyas becomes Uwe Boll)

Not funny enough to laugh at, not pretty enough to look at, and not serious enough to care.

King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) returns to ancient Egypt in time for the coronation of his nephew Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), but decides to kill his brother instead and takes over his online account for Age of Empires. To save a really hot fantasy babe named Zaya (Courtney Eaton), long-haired slacker-thief Bek (Brenton Thwaites) mugs the camera while trying to remember his lines and hit his marks. Let’s see… Bek steals something Jaime needs, but then his babe gets killed so he has to make a deal… right. Jaime’s former babe Hathor (Elodie Yung) has been getting busy with Leonidas until EVIL PLAN sends her off to join forces with everyone else and a Nigerian Prince (Chadwick Boseman) still trying to convince people his emails are real. After a lot of special effects and hacking through the underbosses, there’s a big Power Ranger battle where lots of things happen. While Voltron never assembles, good defeats evil, everything gets fixed, and the credits mercifully roll.

The trailers look like someone pitched Stargate meets Prince of Persia, but for a mostly-CGI movie, it looks too much like a 2006 video game than a 2016 summer blockbuster. Okay, maybe the all of the effects weren’t done in time for the advertising, but just look at all the people in the cast! Well, very few of them look Egyptian — none of them, actually — but with Alex Proyas at the helm and Rufus Sewell on board, how bad could it be? Ra above, we pray to thee to let this be a good movie, or at least hope Set won’t have to gouge our eyes out…

No other film needed to be shelved more than this for the summer season — yes, it’s that bad. Like, “what the devil were they thinking?” bad. The script reads like a six-hour television mini-series that got hacked down to film length and inexplicably green lit before shooting everything on green screen. Worse yet, there are a lot of good actors here… all of them wasted. Seriously: the best actor in the entire movie is the all-CGI character Anubus (voice of Goran D. Kleut). The locations make no sense, the story fails to gel, and everything falls flat. There are glimmers of hope from a few anachronistic throwaway lines, some interesting visual ideas, but the production refuses to be self-aware enough even to let the audience in on the joke.

There was probably a simple solution to all of this: don’t use the word “Egypt.” Make it another world, mix up the names a bit, whatever. Throw in some laser rifles and spaceships — it couldn’t look any worse — and Krull it up a bit. Speaking of which, at least Krull was smart enough to give characters their serious moments when they counted and funnier bits when they were needed, even resorting to a few decent effects shots. Director Alex Proyas gave us The Crow, Dark City, and I, Robot — what happened? Okay, Knowing was a bit of a preview to this, but still. Did someone lose a bet? Need to fulfill a contract? Was this done on a dare? The world may never know, but it has to be more interesting than anything that happened here.

Gods of Egypt is rated PG-13 for fantasy violence and action, some sexuality, and crimes against all humanity.

0 Skull Recommendation Out of Four

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