I’m not saying Gods of Egypt is a good movie, because it’s really not, but there might be a few redeeming qualities here that some of you might appreciate.
Gods of Egypt is getting absolutely trashed right now by just about everyone, so if you want to read or hear the bad, there’s more than enough out there on the internet. So instead I will try to concentrate on those few redeeming qualities I mentioned in the intro, unless I get completely sidetracked and start rumbling about how the movie is way longer than it needed to be and that at a point towards the very end I was beginning to feel a migraine (a first for me in a cinema).
Ok, sorry, I said I’d concentrate on the positives, not the negatives. So I won’t tell you about things you already saw in the trailers, that Gods of Egypt has the whitest Egypt since Elizabeth Taylor graced the big screen in the role of Cleopatra. So many British Egyptians, it’s quite fascinating. And then there’s some of the CGI, which looks ridiculously awful in parts, and then breathtaking in others. To call the visual work here uneven would be an understatement. There’s a part specifically that really left me in awe that in the year 2016 we’re still seeing such shoddy visuals, especially in a movie that supposedly cost $140 million to produce. The scene in question happens pretty early and in it the main hero (a mortal named Bek) is running away with his beloved in an Egyptian chariot. It’s spectacularly bad, makes you wonder how that even made it in the final cut (I have an idea why, but that would mean I’d have to go into spoilers). It’s really sad because some parts do look great, but the bad is so bad that it overshadows them.
Now I really do mean it, no more negatives, only positives. So the best thing about Gods of Egypt is just how committed the movie is to its lunacy. Usually with swords and sandal flicks, specifically for those dealing with supernatural elements (like Clash of the Titans or the more recent Hercules), the people behind them never really embrace the madness. That’s probably because while they’re playing with fantasy elements, they’re still trying to keep the story somewhat grounded in their pseudo-reality. Simply put they’re doing their best to not jump the shark. Well Gods of Egypt doesn’t just jump on that shark (and that’s probably in the first 5 minutes, so you know what you’re getting from the very beginning), it rides it all the way to the end. Forget any sort of story coherence, Gods of Egypt doesn’t care that you can’t keep up or that you don’t understand why some character is doing this instead of that. No, Gods of Egypt goes from A to Z and then invents a couple more letters since our alphabet just isn’t big enough for it.
This movie is not afraid to go places, and at the end of the day that’s the best compliment I can give Gods of Egypt. As someone who grew up staying up way past his bedtime watching documentaries about ancient Egypt, who really liked the Brendan Fraser Mummy and its sequel, and who doesn’t hate Kingdom of the Crystal Skull nearly as much as the entire internet (quite the opposite), I’m not ashamed to say I had fun watching Gods of Egypt, much more so than probably any other really bad movie I’ve seen on the big screen. Call it a guilty pleasure or maybe I’m just really good at turning my brain off and enjoying the ride.
Obviously I can’t actually recommend Gods of Egypt to most people because what I enjoyed about it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. So that being said don’t go see Gods of Egypt, unless you’re my kind of crazy and you can’t get enough of scenery-chewing Gerard Butler (it also helps having someone else pay for the tickets). That or you simply want to see just how bad this is. I give Gods of Egypt two out of five chariots.
A side note here, if you do plan on seeing Gods of Egypt in theaters (you lunatic), maybe go for the 3D version. Wondering why? Easy, perspective, so you won’t constantly wonder why some actors are so much closer to the camera than others (I’ll give you a hint, they’re not closer).