Gods of Egypt (2016) Movie Review: Horus Wasn’t the Only One to Lose His Eyes

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: each time someone is referred to by something other than their name.

Do a Shot: whenever someone cracks wise.

Do a Shot: every time Bek mentions his girlfriend Zaya.

Take a Bonus Shot: if that line refers to Horus saving Zaya.

Take a Drink: every time a god transforms.

Take a Drink: for every instance of that weird effect involving gods being bigger than humans.

Community Review

How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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Movie Review

By: Hawk Ripjaw (Four Beers) –

Centuries ago, at the dawn of time, at the creation of the world, the Egyptian gods looked upon their creation and decided to live amongst the humans of Egypt. Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is prepared to claim the throne as King of Egypt, while petty thief Bek (Brenton Thwaites) and his girlfriend Zaya (Courtney Eaton) attend the coronation.

In one of the biggest  instances of “we need to get the fuck to Act II as quickly as possible” in history, Horus’ uncle Set (Gerard Butler) shows up at the coronation, kills his brother, kicks Horus’ ass and rips out his eyes, claims the throne, enslaves Egypt, and bars admission to the afterlife to all but the richest of humans. Bek, refusing to lose hope, outsmarts a suspiciously Indiana Jones-esque tomb to reclaim one of the eyes of Horus, getting Zaya killed in the process, and finds the defeated, drunken Horus retreated to his tomb, then bargains with the fallen god to rescue Zaya from the afterlife in return for Bek helping Horus recover his other eye. Along the way, they enlist the help of the Goddess of Love, Hathor (Elodie Yung), and the hyper-self-centered God of Knowing Stuff, Thoth (Chadwick Boseman), as Set continues to conquer Egypt and collect the pieces of slain gods to become the Megazord of Egypt.

There’s also a scene involving Ra (Geoffrey Rush), who, in his giant spaceship chained to the sun, nightly carries the sun to the other side of a flat earth, becomes a fiery being, and shoots his flaming spear at what appears to be recycled Galactus assets from Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Are you intrigued? Trust me, it’s not worth it. It’s been a while since Hawk Ripjaw has been seduced by a bad movie, but this one just doesn’t deliver.

A Toast

Proyas has always been a director that has a fantastic imagination. There are a lot of really visually inventive creatures and locales here even if the CGI can’t back it up.

There are glorious moments in which the movie embraces the bizarre wrinkles in its world- the climax is suitably bombastic, and that scene with Ra is fantastic. It’s a glimpse into how much fun the movie could have been.

Beer Two

While some of the action is well-choreographed, several of the fight sequences indulge in a brain-splitting 360 degree camera movement that not only makes the action look artificial as it spins around the actors, it also induces intense vertigo. Gifted as he is, it’s baffling that Proyas thought this was a good idea.

It’s the first in a line of very poorly implemented special effects. This movie relies extremely heavily on effects, and most of the time they’re not good. Even fantastic, unbelievable worlds can be made realistic through strong special effects, but at nearly every appearance here your brain is actively telling you that something isn’t quite right. The effects here just aren’t natural, and it sucks you out of the movie at nearly every scene. One of the greatest offenders is the implementing of the idea of gods being far larger than humans, which is delivered via a jarring, unsettling effect that shows the god characters towering several feet above their servants.

This movie hurts to look at. It burned my eyes and seared my brain.

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Beer Three

Back in the late 90s and early 2000s we had a string of ridiculous action buddy comedies, and not the good kind. I’m taking the “mismatched characters have to go on a grand adventure and grow to respect each other via a shitload of bad one-liners.” That’s this movie in a nutshell. Nearly everyone gets to crack a one-liner at some point in this movie. Everyone, even in the face of death, gets to sling a zinger every few minutes, and it was funny maybe once, and I can’t even remember what it was. This trend died out a decade ago, why are we still going after it?

Beer Four

Sadly, as hilarious as this all sounds, it isn’t. The movie takes itself far too seriously, even in the midst of Gerard Butler yelling at something atop his scarab-driven flying chariot, gods transforming into metallic Anubis-styled beasts, and Geoffrey Rush punching himself in the chest to catch on fire. It commits one of the primary sins of silly effects-driven movies: it forgets to be silly. All of those things would be awesome if they were in the hands of producers and and a director that could gaze upon their creation and cackle with glee at the bombast they hath wrought. Instead, it feels like everyone involved (with the exception of Butler and Boseman, who are clearly having a blast) is fully convinced they’ve produced the freshest shit of the year.

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Verdict

Gods of Egypt is an extremely strange movie that blends elements of Egyptian mythology with bouts of sci-fi-tinged action sequences and disparate plot elements cherry-picked from numerous other movies. It’s not really all that bad, but  it sure as hell isn’t good. It’s fun in fits and bursts, but doesn’t do so consistently enough to be notable. It’s sad, because this could register on the “fucking crazy” scale like similar films of its ilk. Wrath of the Titans is not a good film, but it knew exactly how ridiculous it was, and for that it was wildly entertaining. Gods of Egypt is encumbered by what makes the old, brooding Alex Proyas films so great–he was not the director this movie needed.

Proyas, can we please just get another dark revenge movie? Loud, effects-driven movies don’t work for you.

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