Monday, March 21, 2016

Gods of Egypt Movie Review



GODS OF EGYPT
Written by Matt Sazama & Burk Sharpless
Directed by Alex Proyas

My first thought was that the movie was loud.  I don’t mind loud, so for me that’s not a negative, but for some people that is a consideration.

Visually, the movie is spectacular and awful at different points.  Sometimes the CGI was terrific, and other times it looked like a bad video game.  I get bored when things turn from live action to cartoon characters fighting each other.

If you want to see beautiful women, Elodie Yung (who shines as Elektra in season two of Daredevil) and Courtney Eaton (Mad Max: Fury Road) are both easy on the eyes. 

Some of the action is well done, and some of it fell flat due to repetition.  I didn’t hate this movie, but I didn’t like it enough either.  That’s the problem. 

Spectacle simply does not replace story, and for the story to work, we need to care about the characters.  When you don’t care about the characters, all sorts of other demons raise their little heads.  The geography of Egypt is wrong in the movie, they use a telescope, which unless ancient aliens brought to them they would not have had, and it felt like a paint-by-number flick with next to no thought applied at any point.  There were a few amusing moments, just not enough to recommend the movie, and they were a bit off key with the rest of the film.  I went in with low expectations, and those expectations were just low enough that I sat through the entire movie.

My favorite actor in the film was Chadwick Boseman.  He played Thoth, and did a great job.  I loved his work in 42, and I can’t wait to see him as Black Panther.  Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (best known as Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones, and who was terrific in Headhunters) did fine as Horus, but Gerard Butler chewed the scenery playing bad boy Set with one-note, “I’m evil and I’m evil on purpose, oh, and I’m also evil.”  Brenton Thwaits as Bek seemed to think he was in a much different movie.  He looked to be having a lot of fun almost getting killed here, there, and everywhere.  Geoffrey Rush looked embarrassed to be there.

I haven’t read the script, so it’s likely that the story was stronger on the page.  Producers tend to dip their fingers into movies without understanding story, and the interference often increases with the budget of the film.  I’ve had a couple of screenplays optioned.  With one, the producers were mostly in tune with the story so most of the changes made sense, and I felt the script was better for their input.  The other script had notes that made me scratch my head, and I didn’t mind when the option lapsed and I didn’t have to make the changes.  Writers are often blamed for bad movies, but it’s important to note that nobody sets out to make a bad film, and without writers, nobody has a job.  So in most cases, the original script was solid.  Was that the case with Gods of Egypt?  I don’t know, but I’m willing to give the writers the benefit of the doubt.

Rating C-  because there were a few things I liked, but I can’t really recommend you spend your hard-earned cash to see it.



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