Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Film Review: "Gods of Egypt" (2016).




"The battle for eternity begins." This is Gods of Egypt. This fantasy action-adventure film directed by Alex Proyas, and written by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless. This film is based on the Egyptian myth "The Contendings of Horus and Set", in which Set and Horus battled for the rule of Egypt. Mortal hero Bek teams with the god Horus in an alliance against Set, the merciless god of darkness, who has usurped Egypt's throne, plunging the once peaceful and prosperous empire into chaos and conflict.

The script by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless was acquired by Summit Entertainment in 2012. In May, Proyas was chosen by Summit to rewrite the script and direct the film. Marking the director’s first feature in seven years since Knowing (2009). Proyas cited the following films as influences: The Guns of Navarone (1961), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), The Man Who Would Be King (1975), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), and Sergio Leone's Western films. By the start of 2014, Proyas rounded out the cast with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Brenton Thwaites, Chadwick Boseman, Élodie Yung, Courtney Eaton, Rufus Sewell, Gerard Butler and Geoffrey Rush. The film received controversy for its casting of predominantly Caucasian actors. With most critics accusing the production of "Hollywood whitewashing". In response, Lionsgate and Proyas apologized for the ehtnically-inaccurate casting. Originally scheduled to be shot in the Sahara Desert, production ultimately took place in Australia with a budget of $140 million. Due to international pre-sales and Australian tax incentives, the production’s budget was only around $10 million, and Lionsgate/Summit were able to recoup most of the budget. Released in February 2016, the film was ultimately a critical and commercial failure. Receiving a 16% rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes, and making $31.2 million in its opening weekend run. In response to the reviews, director Proyas posted to Facebook calling critics "diseased vultures pecking at the bones of a dying carcass", who were "trying to peck to the rhythm of the consensus. I applaud any film-goer who values their own opinion enough to not base it on what the pack-mentality says is good or bad."

The film stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Brenton Thwaites, Chadwick Boseman, Élodie Yung, Courtney Eaton, Rufus Sewell, Gerard Butler and Geoffrey Rush. There is only one word to describe the performances given by a capable but wasted cast: disappointing. Just... disappointing. Almost all of the cast in this film were just as ethnically accurate as Snookie and Tara Reid after they went on a tanning spree.

While sporadically stirring, and suitably epic in its ambitions, Gods of Egypt can't quite live up to being a film in general. It is a terrible film. It is a badly acted and badly written action-adventure flick that takes what should be an exhilarating and epic story and drains it of all life and all dramatic interest. In response to Mr. Proyas' statement: Yes, Mr. Proyas, critics are "diseased vultures" who "peck at the bones of dying carcass". But that's only because your film was dying upon arrival.

Simon says Gods of Egypt receives:


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