Where the line is drawn between bad and entertainingly bad I really couldn’t tell you? Why did I laugh my head off, for instance, in Gods of Egypt but sit there in agony at Norm of the North? I literally have no idea. Gods of Egypt is a terrible movie but maybe it was my audience because we were cracking up. You might say it’s deliciously awful.
If Gods of Egypt were a low brow sci-fi channel film it might make sense but the fact this atrocity cost $140 million to make it boggles the mind. It attempts to be an epic sword and sandles story about Ancient Egypt but it ends up being a horrible cg-fest with inconsistent characters and a story that makes no sense.
It’s kind of about an Egyptian God named Set (the God of Darkness evidently but it is never really clear what his powers are or what he is trying to do except TAKE OVER THE WORLD!). He has a brother who is King and a nephew Horus who is about to be coronated at the start of the film. There is his Grandfather Ra the God of Creation, Thoth the God of Wisdom, Hathor the Goddess of Love (I think), also 2 commoners in love Zaya and Bek.
But as silly as those characters sound it means nothing with bad writing. Characters like Hathor seem to change powers whenever is convenient. I was never even clear who was named what or what they did. That’s how muddled and poorly developed EVERYONE was. The dialogue is laughable and the story has so many scenes where I was like ‘why are we here? what is going on? how did they get here etc?’. There’s scenes in the afterlife that seem to assume a certain understanding of the steps of Egyptian spirit world because there didn’t seem to be any clear rules about death or judgement.
The special effects- holy cow are they awful. It has some of the worst green screen shots I’ve ever seen especially when they are supposed to be flying or riding in a chariot. The powers make no sense. One minute they are flying. One minute they need their eyes. One minute they don’t. Horus makes a whole journey to get water from Ra and then it is dropped and spilled, never to be talked about again. Most of the special effects are kind of fuzzy looking and I’m sure it is even worse in 3D and like I said the green screen is so bad.
They also have gold blood, which was a creative touch. The action scenes were so badly staged all you could hear was someone in the sound mixing board hitting the ‘thump key’ over and over again. There are two mortals Bek and Zaya who are around so Zaya can be dead and Bek can be Aladdin stealing Horus’ eye back for him. There is no chemistry or bond between anyone or epic feel to anything. It feels like a video game.
The acting is so bad. Gerard Butler continues his horrific slide of awfulness in a performance that had me laughing in its ‘evil bad guyness’. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau continues the streak of Game of Thrones stars being awful in movies not called Cinderella in the lead as Horus. He’s so bad. Just grumbling around and snarling with one eye covered. The women are horrible and mainly seem to be there to sacrifice for and have sex with the men. Rufus Sewell is an embarrassment. And Chadwick Boseman gives a whole room of terrible performances as Thoth.
It almost has to be seen to be believed. I can see Gods of Egypt playing at festivals for bad movies. I think Riff Trax definitely needs to do it because there is so much material to mock. My whole audience was laughing from start to finish. The sad part is we weren’t supposed to be laughing (which probably makes it even funnier).
So in the end Gods of Egypt is terrible but I can’t say I wasn’t entertained- just not in the way the producers hoped. Unless you like very silly movies it’s a definite skip.
Overall Grade- F (C if you just want to make fun of it)
Oh and the whole whitewashing controversy of the film- if only that were its greatest problem. The producers would be clicking their heels if that was people’s only complaint. Expect this to be an Egyptian sized bomb.