Gods Of Egypt (2016)

Final Rating: 6/10

They stand over fifteen feet tall, towering over their loyal subjects who enjoy the prosperity of a free Egypt; where passage to the afterlife is a right and life on earth is spent surrounded by gilded towers and opulent plazas. All of this allowed by the just god Osiris (Bryan Brown), who’s rule is peaceful and devoid of conflict. A happy life until his son, the sky god Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is to be wed. A public celebration promptly interrupted by Osiris’ brother, Set (Gerard Butler), the god of disorder. Osiris’ rule is challenged resulting in his murder. Horus’ eyes gouged, rendering him unable to rule and Set ascends the throne as the ruler of Egypt. Ushering in an age of slavery and despair.

This is a film where special effects are king and its special effects are good. Providing for sprawling 3D vistas and engaging fight scenes where the gods transform into flying deities capable of extraordinary violence against one another. Soaring through the streets of Ancient Egypt and fending off giant fire breathing snakes. But even in these exciting moments the use of 3D seems underutilized, providing for only an emphasized depth of field and rarely doing anything else. An unfortunate reality of most 3D movies and one we accept as the rule and not the exception. 

There was also acting and it was good, each actor doing his or her respective job. Everything that makes a film a film is there. The directing was good. Yet, despite its promising premise and well-executed moving parts, it failed to do the one thing every film must do above all else. Entertain. 

“Gods of Egypt” has an incredibly difficult time of keeping your eyes glued to the screen and the culprit is the story. Even the main character’s, Bek (Brenton Thwaites), quest to be reunited with the love of his life Zaya (Courtney Eaton) fails to engage the viewer. It’s a shame because, love as a theme has given cinema so many memorable films, granted “Gods of Egypt” is not the type of film expected to deliver on cinematic gold. However, that doesn’t exempt it from disappointment. Too many subplots and uninteresting character motivation’s take center screen. The viewer is robbed of any opportunity to form an attachment to the character’s goals and empathize. Leaving for a mostly empty viewing experience that bores.

Every component the film executed well is let down by its lackluster story. Which is a shame because the ancient Egyptian mythology is ripe for storytelling. The filmmakers even took the time to depict a flat earth. A notion that was as dogmatic back then, as is the notion of a round earth today. Even the main conflict between Set and Horus is based in fact.

So when this much care is taken to depict a rich world, it sucks to see it fall so flat and leave any resounding impression. “Gods of Egypt” could have been a fun popcorn movie. It has all the components of one, special effects, Gerard Butler and a rich mythology, but it fails to reach the engagement and fun synonymous with one.

About author

Nathaniel Roizen is a film reviewer and aspiring screenwriter. You should follow him on Twitter @RathanielNoizen.