HOLLYWOOD—It seems every year since the spectacle known as “300” hit theaters some close to 10 years ago, we get a movie of visual amazement/Greek mythology that arrives in multiplexes every March. In the year 2016, things are no different, as “Gods of Egypt” has been unleashed on moviegoers.
Spectators should be warned before entering the theater that previous flicks of this magnitude that have been seen in the past, will not be dosed out in “Gods of Egypt.” The movie takes place in an alternative world of Egypt where the world is FLAT and humans and gods live amongst one another.
Of course the Gods can be distinguished from their mortal counterparts because of their physical prowess, height, ability to transform into animals and who can forget their golden blood. Yes, the idea of blood being golden is something one has to chuckle about.
Returning to a realm that is all too familiar to him is Gerard Butler, who portrays Set, a jealous god who is none too happy with his brother Osiris (Bryan Brown), who is about to crown Set’s nephew Horus (Nickolaj Coster-Waldau) who is about to take over his father’s throne. Yes, fans are used to seeing Butler portray the hero, so seeing him dive a bit into a villainous role is fun. However, the fact that the actor isn’t able to really sink his teeth into the role might be because of the flick catering to a PG-13 audience; not to mention a lack of character development.
The biggest problem with “Gods of Egypt” is that the narrative is so bland that the characters are pretty much introduced and that’s it. We don’t get much of a backstory; we don’t really understand the importance of Bek (Brenton Thwaites) and Zaya (Courtney Eaton). I mean Bek is technically the hero of the flick, alongside Horus, but he comes across more like a side-kick than a character worth rooting for.
There is no limitation of star power for the film. Besides Butler and Waldau, the movie also stars Chadwick Boseman, Rufus Sewell and Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush. To see the caliber of acting that Rush is capable of delivering be wasted in such a flick that could be more grandeur is disappointing. Visually speaking the movie is stunning; beautiful to watch on the big screen. This is a film that should be seen in theaters, in 3D, but the problem lies with nothing us being brought to the table beyond special effects.
The argument has been made time and time again that visuals alone cannot sell a movie, and I have to agree. One can deliver the most jaw-dropping flick of all-time, but if there is no story, nothing can save a film from becoming a disaster, nothing. “Gods of Egypt” falls into the trope of believing that if they mask the lackluster plot with a bunch of eye-popping visuals audiences will still be pleased. Unfortunately, they learned a hard lesson during opening weekend: story comes front and center first with any movie!