Not a bad time with the family, minus the sex and violence
Thanks to Entertainment One, we had the chance to see ‘Gods of Egypt’ before its national release. This is our review of the movie, but as usual, no matter what we say, we still recommend you to go and see it at your local cinema because there is no better critic than yourself!
I went into Gods of Egypt expecting little. And there was little. At least on the intellectual front. There’s no devastating analysis into sexual desires or a deep scientific take on religion’s causality. It really isn’t. But it still can be enjoyable. It’s an adventure film with no purpose other to entertain which isn’t a bad thing for a summer blockbuster and there certainly are merits to be had with its entertainment value.
Directed by the same guy who did Knowing and I, Robot, Alex Proyas takes the helm on a film about, dare I say it, ‘Gods of Egypt’. See what I did there? I’m funny. Leave me alone. Anyways, the plot revolves around the fall of a god (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) by another asshole god (Gerard Butler) which turns Egypt into a slave empire. The fallen god then takes on a path to take back the throne thanks to the inspiration of a mortal (Brenton Thwaites). The film is then rendered into a swashbuckling adventure about a god learning what it means to be a good god and a mortal trying to save his lost love’s life.
The chemistry between the god and the mortal is pretty refreshing to behold. They don’t see eye to eye on a lot of things yet they are forced on this journey to save Egypt and learn more about themselves and each other and what it means to be just. It is no Descartes exploration on happiness or human nature but it’s just something enjoyable to watch on a big screen. The chemistry between the two male leads isn’t the best. But it’s definitely there.
Now the film is argued to be ‘whitewashed’ by many critics just like Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings. That’s probably true. Perhaps it was just easier and more economically viable to get ‘white actors’ hence they did what they did and that’s something that should be addressed. Proyas however, recently did a massive bash on Facebook regarding film critics, who bashed his film in their reviews. He went on to say how film critics are a “pack of diseased vultures pecking on the bones of a dying carcass”. It’s edgy and emotional stuff but in a gist, he wanted to emphasize that critics depend on consensus rather than pure individualized opinion. Now as a person that does go out, watch film previews and then write about it, I can actually see where he’s coming from. Too many critics do go unnecessarily cruel in authority when they know so little or have done so little in filmmaking at all. Some do rely on others to make their opinion valid in order to avoid backlash on the toxic environment of the internet community. But what a ‘critic’ should be able to do in a film is facilitate conversation. Who doesn’t love to share their opinions and discuss the film after they watch it. And that’s my job. I’m not fond of calling myself a critic. I’m just a lover of films that writes screenplays and makes films in my spare time. But writing your opinion on a film that somebody slaved over for years with their blood and tears should be done with some sort of care and merit. Just don’t be unnecessarily cruel without backing it up with proper rationale.
Back to the film, it is pretty heavy on visual effects and I’m afraid it didn’t work out that well. The green screen is so easy to notice, and the art design which may be spectacular to see on some scenes are just somewhat generic and made onto screen for sheer epic scale rather than any decent artistic qualities of its own right. To unfortunately add more water to injury, this film had little advantages when watched in 3D. It is just under-utilized which adds more insult to injury to the grandiose visual effects making it seem like live action actors in the foreground of a video game cut scene from the makers of Final Fantasy on Unreal Engine 4.
Gods of Egypt is not a bad time in the cinema. The conclusion of this film is actually immensely satisfying as the heavy character development really helped it give a finale to these characters’ journeys. It however does feel somewhat hollow in other aspects of a film’s entertainment processes even if it’s just no brainer action fun film. No memorable but certainly not atrocious film making.
Gods of Egypt is now showing in cinemas