Monday, July 4, 2016

3 Short Paragraphs: Gods of Egypt

2016, Alex Proyas (The Crow) -- download

I already started the conversation of this movie when I rewatched Clash of the Titans. Gods of Egypt was pretty much the product of safe, studio executive machinations --- if the former made a good amount of money, based on Greek myths, then this one should as well. But it didn't. Not only did the whitewash controversy taint the release of the movie, but it also did terribly at the box office. Proyas should be a solid choice for a mythological, CGI spectacle, but it didn't help this time. Even being a fan of his, I am not sure what I entirely think of it -- it has hints of Proyas, but somehow seems outside his usual realm. Entirely too much studio oversight is what I once again blame.

We are given the lands of Egypt during the reign of the Gods. The opening sequence and monologue almost had me feeling this was another planet, or alternate dimension, where Egypt is the centre of the world. Perhaps this is the equivalent realm for cosmic gods, like Asgard was for Thor and the gang from the Marvel movies? The Gods rule, benevolently but firmly. They are 10' tall creatures of magic with blood of gold. They are not all powerful, but piddly little humans do not stand a chance against them. Gerard Butler, playing Set the warmonger, murders King Osiris (Bryan Brown; holey crap where has he been?) during the coronation of Horus (Jaime Lannister) his playboy son. Mixed into the intrigue are humans, street thief Bex and his love Zaya (last seen as Cheetoh, ahem Cheedo the Fragile, in Mad Max: Fury Road).  Bex sets out to convince the maimed Horus (Set takes his eyes; which become magical artifacts upon extraction) to stand up to his brother and save Egypt.

I didn't dislike this movie. It heavily, and intentionally, smacks of my other swords & sandals movies from The Shelf in light tone with comedic notes. It looks incredible, the transforming Gods becoming grand magical creatures with starting powers. It is most definitely not our planet. In fact, father god Ra rides his boat on the river of the cosmos above a disk shaped world. All in all, awe striking and fantastical but it lacked a certain, Proyas something. Perhaps it was too light? Perhaps it was too bright? Horus is the main character but not relatable, and Bex as the token human is so bland he's forgettable. Another viewing will be required before it joins The Shelf.