REVIEW: Gods of Egypt (2016)

Theatrical Release Poster - Summit Entertainment
Theatrical Release Poster – Summit Entertainment

The following is a review of Gods of Egypt – Directed by Alex Proyas.

I’ve been a fan of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau ever since I first saw him in Ole Bornedal’s Nattevagten (not to be confused with the American remake, Nightwatch). I was really happy to see him get a big role in HBO’s Game of Thrones, and I’ve loved him as Jaime Lannister. It’s a great character for an actor I enjoy watching. For a little while now, I’ve wanted him to get a big role in a movie with a huge production budget… This isn’t what I had in mind.

In Gods of Egypt, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau plays Horus, the God of Air, who is about to become the next king of Egypt. But during his coronation, Set (played by Gerard Butler) kills his brother Osiris (played by Bryan Brown), Horus’ father, and defeats and blinds Horus.

Some time thereafter, the now exiled Horus meets Bek (played by Brenton Thwaites), a thief, who gives Horus one of the eyes that Set took from him. Bek becomes an ally of Horus, when they agree to work together to take out Set and to bring the woman Bek loves, Zaya (played by Courtney Eaton), back from the dead.

Let’s just get this out of the way. The filmmakers got a lot of criticism for telling a story about Egypt and Egyptian mythology without any Egyptian actors. It makes no sense that Coster-Waldau, a white Danish actor, should play Horus, or that Geoffrey Rush, a white Australian actor, should play Ra. But that’s what we have here. Most of the actors are white.

This is Proyas’ vision for this alternate version of Egyptian mythology. And make no mistake, this isn’t our Earth. The world is flat, Gods walk the Earth, and those Gods bleed gold and are much, much taller than humans. The Gods even have these animal-headed suits of armor that they wear from time to time.

It’s weird, and most of the film is just CGI environments with actors of different sizes fighting CGI creatures while the camera spins around them. Some of it’s really confusing, but most of these scenes are really, really bad. Most of the CGI becomes really boring to look at, but there are exceptions. There are these pretty cool shots where you see how flat the world is. That looks pretty cool, but that’s basically it.

As for the acting performances? Well, there’s nothing to write home about. It is a shame that great actors such as Chadwick Boseman and Coster-Waldau have been saddled with this film, which by no means lives up to its potential. While Geoffrey Rush looks miserable playing Ra, he actually gives the performance that is the most fun to watch.

The actors aren’t given anything good to work with. The story is uninteresting, the dialogue is, at times, awful, and the movie becomes unintentionally funny. All in all, Gods of Egypt is so bad that it’s pretty entertaining at times, but still not anywhere close to being good.

3.5 out of 10

– Jeffrey Rex

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