Some action-fantasy films have to rely on mind-blowing graphics to overcome a plot that leaves something to be desired. “Gods of Egypt” falls into this category.
As the Egyptian god Horus, played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (“Game of Thrones”) is to be coronated king over Egypt, his uncle Set, played by Gerard Butler (“300”), arrives to steal the crown, killing any god that stands in his way.
After Horus is blinded, he retreats into solitude vowing not to interfere with his uncle’s tyrannical rule. But when a common thief by the name of Bek, played by Brenton Thwaites (“Maleficent”), approaches Horus about working together, the two descend into Egyptian mythology to stop Set and save creation itself.
Impressive imagery provides a lone bright spot
Visually, “Gods of Egypt” is stunning. Every scene, shot and frame is a gorgeous splash of color and special effects.
The saturation of the greens, reds, and golds leap off screen in a beautiful display. It definitely looks like an Alex Proyas (“I, Robot”) film, evoking the same filmic flair he’s become known for.
The CGI is used similarly impressively. To the grand scale of the locations to the small, subtle details, everything is a visual treat. These visual touches give the world depth and life, making the scope much more grand.
Big-name actors are big disappointments
Disappointingly, the remainder of the film is absolutely lackluster. This is especially true for the acting. While some of the actors give tolerable performances, it’s the big stars that are surprisingly the worst.
Gerard Butler struggles to give an impactful role as the villain. His delivery isn’t good enough to evoke the passion of his character and it isn’t campy enough to be enjoyable.
However, it’s Geoffrey Rush (“Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl”) as the Sun God, Ra, who gives the most pathetic, lazy and uninterested performance of the movie. The lack of energy and concern he puts into his role is radically unpleasant to sit through. It’s a travesty to watch such a well-respected and highly praised actor phone it in.
A pointless, unoriginal plot
The screenplay has a fair amount of useless banter that it confuses for wit and character development.
Characters will carry on fast paced conversations with no purpose. These moments of quick dialogue do little to improve the story, build a world or create depth in the individuals. Speed is not a substitute for cleverness.
“Gods of Egypt” also has a suspicious amount of plot elements in common with the popular “God of War” video game. It even has an angsty, angry god killing his fellow deities to collect and use their non-descript powers. It all comes off too much like a video game, except without the fun of interaction.
Beyond its grand visual achievements, “Gods of Egypt” is utterly pointless. Nothing is focused on long enough to have an effect. The acting lacks any energy and it’s all been done before.