I’m not sure where it all went wrong, but the career of Director Alex Proyas has crashed. It’s really a shame, because in 1994 Proyas directed one of my favorites “The Crow” and 10 years later helmed a solid sci-fi film in “I, Robot.”
But then in 2009, Proyas directed the mess that was “Knowing” and just last week, his latest film “Gods of Egypt” hit the screens and it was a train wreck.
“Gods of Egypt” follows, as you may have guessed, Gods who live in Egypt. More specifically, it’s about the king of Egypt, Osiris (Bryan Brown), who is about to pass the crown to his son, Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). The ceremony is interrupted, though, when Osiris’ brother Set (Butler) shows up. Set, who was banished, kills Osiris out of jealousy and takes the crown for himself. In the process, Set steals the eyes of Horus to take his power away.
That’s where the thief Bek (Brenton Thwaites) comes in to play. Bek, not to be confused with the singer, is sent on a journey to retrieve Horus’ eyes and give them back to the god so there will be someone to fight against Set. At the same time, Bek is also on the journey to save his wife.
Lazy is a good word to describe the approach to “Gods of Egypt, because that’s how much of the picture plays out on screen. The story, for example, is the two characters Bek and Horus going from place to place trying to survive CGI loaded action sequences.
Obviously the film was never meant to be taken seriously, which can be OK in some circumstances. Where “Gods of Egypt” fails is it has a lack of substance AND style. Walking into “Gods of Egypt,” a brilliant story isn’t as much expected, but when that is the case it damn well better deliver in style.
In every action scene that populates the film, the special effects are either the same CGI creatures we’ve seen from other ‘swords and sandals’ movies like “Clash of the Titans,” or the visuals are so poor that they appear laughable.
A prime example of this is the god Ra, played by Geoffrey Rush, who is portrayed as living on a flying boat/space station who shoots a magic flame thrower at a giant evil cloud. Rather than a sense of awe, special effects sequences such as these create chuckles.
The point is, “Gods of Egypt” comes across as a mass produced action flick with hardly any vision or flair. The same can be said about the movie’s script, too. While the actors in the movie didn’t seem like they were phoning it in, the dialogue was so poor that decent performances could never save it.
“Gods of Egypt” could have been tolerable and this review may have been less harsh if the picture wasn’t so long. However, since the film drags on over the two hour mark, it pushes things over the edge. 1 out of 5.