Review: ‘God of Egypt’ Is A Literal Mixed Bag

Neil R. Feeney ’19 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Gerard Butler in Gods of Egypt. Photo Credit: Lionsgate.

It’s not common that a film comes around that is truly a mixed bag, a complete mash up of good moments and terrible moments, unable to find a rhythm and yet at the same time knowing exactly what it is doing. A film like this can entertain and at the same time give one the desire to leave the theater altogether. It’s truly mesmerizing, not because of its quality, but its lack of. There are so many bad choices, and yet every now and then there are a few good ones, but there never seems to be any consistency. Gods of Egypt is one such film.

As the name suggests, the film takes place in mythological Egypt, complete with gods and monsters and magic. This is an example of a good choice, as this idea is something new and interesting (the last time this concept has been explored outside of straight-to-home-releases would be The Mummy series of the early 2000s), but having limited practical sets and instead shooting inside of a studio was a bad choice. On hiatus from Game of Thrones, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau stars as the god of air, Horus. Traveling with him is the mortal Bek (Brandon Thwaites), who honestly just looks happy to be there. Gerald Butler plays the big bad of the film, Set, and although Butler appears as if he is having the time of his life, he is the only actor that stands out and does not belong in the slightest. He does his best and gets into character, but he sticks out like a sore thumb. Geoffrey Rush as the sun god Ra stands out as well, but at least he is in the film as a supporting character, and seems to fit as his character. As Horus attempts to save Egypt, it was more an attempt to save the film itself, which is such a challenge that it seems as if everyone in the film know that is their real goal.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in Gods of Egypt. Photo Credit: Lionsgate.

The film explores the mythos with cool CGI and imaginative fight scenes (good idea), but the CGI in some scenes was very unfinished (bad idea). Although credit is given where it is due, and the CGI was very impressive for its $140 million budget, and was directed well in that respect. A few concepts were very interesting as well, such as Ra riding his chariot that pulled the sun across a flat earth. The costumes were very imaginative as well and the cast is more diverse than the controversy will have one seem, at least more diverse than the common blockbuster. And as mentioned before, the direction had some great ideas, but it seemed as if director Alex Proyas had a great time in pre-production, but then slowly watched it fall apart during filming. This is one of those films that is great in concept, but can only really accomplish what it came to do if it is done right.

This is where the paradox lies: this film is fun to watch, but only because it is painful to watch. It is epic in scale, but never gets up off the ground. The actors are having fun, but their characters aren’t. The CG is cool, but uncompleted. There is no better way to describe this film then a mixed bag. One cannot blame the film for its choices though, for example the editing is choppy, but only because there is a lot of substance. The more one thinks of this film the more one cannot understand why it failed like it did. It is the perfect example of a bad film with good moments, or a good film with bad moments, it just matters how you look at it. Children will love this film because of its cool concepts, teenagers may enjoy it ironically, and adults will be so perplexed by the intense paradox it presents. Although one thing is for certain: it was entertaining, but not for the right reasons.

Overall Grade: C+

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