The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
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Look on Gods of Egypt, ye filmgoers, and despair! Nothing beside remains. Round the decay of this colossal wreck, boundless and bare. The lone and level sands stretch far away. (Apologies to Shelley.)
All Critics (181)
| Top Critics (31)
| Fresh (27)
| Rotten (154)
It's initially fuelled with its own absurdity, like an ecologically unsafe type of diesel. But there is a falling off after half an hour or so.
Sometimes Gods of Egypt has fascinatingly go-for-broke visuals. Other times, 1997 Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush... glowers on his boat in space between breaks fighting chaos, as represented by a toothy cloud worm.
If it wasn't all CGI, I would have said I hope they saved the sets for another, better movie.
As bad movies go, this one at least is all-in on its badness.
If one is going to make special effects the focus of a movie, they need to be good special effects, and that's not the case here. Proyas' ideas are never fully translated from imagination to screen.
Gods of Egypt gets lost in its own budget, constantly shooting to outdo its visual grandeur but forgetting to lend it any depth. But there's a mad ambition at work.
It's an utter failure from director Alex Proyas.
It's a brutal attempt to recreate the Egyptian folklore, with disastrous results.
They just keep inventing story points...the worst part of this movie, though, is that it's 127 minutes...
The effort it takes to sit through this movie strains the eyes, the intellect, and the attention span.
What ultimately makes Gods of Egypt such an off-the-charts bomb is that it tries to shoehorn Egyptian history and myth into the Biblical epic formula.
The movie was never meant to have anything of substance, but rather be a visual treat for the eye. Clearly, it failed
A painfully bad mess of a tale. No wonder the gods were driven from Egypt long ago.
Gods of Egypt never really had a chance. The acting is awful, even seasoned actors Gerard Butler and Geoffrey Rush ham it up with incredibly cheesy performances. And the story is painfully predictable and formulaic. But the worst part is the atrociously bad CGI, which looks like something out of a video game. Some of the action scenes are entertaining, but Gods of Egypt is a total trainwreck.
Right lets just get this whole, so called, controversial whitewashing aspect out of the way first huh. Firstly the main characters in this movie are in fact Gods, Gods that have decided to live in Egypt because its such a nice place, according to the movies intro spiel. So in other words these characters are in fact supernatural beings from the heavens above. They are not humans, they are not actually based on any real humans that have lived at any time. Yes they are Egyptian Gods so technically you could say they should be based on Egyptian looking people (same with Norse Gods or Greek mythology), but as with the same argument for those characters, they are still fictional so anyone can technically portray them (works both ways folks). What's more, this movie does in fact have a great deal of diversity! Admittedly the main protagonists and antagonists are white and it is a bit distracting seeing a white Dane portraying an Egyptian God, OK granted, but who really cares?! Amusing thing is, most of the background characters and side characters are actually pretty diverse, a whole array of different people from different backgrounds.
But most importantly, which I think many fanatical people forgot, this movie is in fact a fantasy movie, completely and utterly fictional. Most of it is all made up (except for some obvious Egyptian things), its all hokey supernatural mythology type stuff which basically comes under the same umbrella as such movies as 'Mortal Kombat', 'Stargate', 'The Mummy' and 'Clash of the Titans'. So what I'm essentially saying is, anyone could play these characters, it doesn't matter, it doesn't matter that many were white people because its a fantasy movie, OK? right.
So in an alternate (alternate being a key word here...remember fantasy?) Egypt, the Gods live with the grunts on Earth (a flat Earth because fantasy...remember?). Osiris rules Egypt and its a happy liberal place, in fact its so liberal that Osiris has just changed the rules for the afterlife. Now anyone can go to heaven without having to pay to get in because that would be unfair on the poor peasants. At this time Osiris is abdicating from his throne and handing the reigns over to his one trusted son Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). But low and behold, Osiris's untrustworthy brother Set (Gerard Butler), rolls into town, kills his bro and takes full control. Set then takes Horus's God-like power of super sight (Horus was the deity with a falcon head, his symbol, the wedjat eye, eye of Horus) and banishes him into the Outworld...errr I mean desert. Long story of much fantasy based crapola short, Horus must fight to get his rightful place as King of Egypt back from Set and his many minions. Oh and Horus has the help of a plucky young male human called Bek because of course he does!
So other than the films I've already mentioned the casting of Set does unfortunately bring other similarities into your mind. Having the bellowing Butler in the film does have you kinda thinking your watching a sequel or spin-off to his original hit '300' (the Egyptian chapter as it were), because that's obviously why he was cast. But that's not all, the Gods in this movie are a strange blend of robotic transforming armour that sort of...transforms like a...errmm, transformer. Its a very odd collaboration of a living suit of armour that kinda looks metal (gold presumably), but acts like some kind of biomechanical suit, a hybrid of a being and a God-like, super armour suit. Hell you even get lots of transformery type noises when these Gods transformed, it was all so...transformerish. Now admittedly this did look hella hokey truth be told, but in kind of a good way, so bad its good type situation. The CGI you see is pretty average really, its all looks ridiculously shiny and glossy with lots of gleaming, glowing, flashy effects blinding you at the same time. But again, admittedly that's probably what they were going for, these are Egyptian Gods in golden battle suits after all. And in that respect they did look OK, Horus looked like the deity with a falcon head and a glorious wingspan, whilst Set looks nicely intimidating as a jackal-esque creature. Its not much better than the effects we saw in the [i]Mummy[/i] franchise with Brendan Fraser admittedly, which is poor for sure, but by this point its pretty clear you shouldn't really be expecting greatness.
Most of the CGI effects we do see are admittedly pretty hokey at the best of times, that along with some pretty terrible and obvious greenscreen effects does tend to make the film laughable at times. The sequence with Butler in his scarab themed battle armour, riding a flying chariot thing being pulled by a giant scarab, was a good example of godawful greenscreen (and hokey acting). Many of the battle sequences depended heavily on CGI and unfortunately it all stood out like a sore thumb looking like semi decent, in-game videogame sequences. Other sequences that simply involved plot with CGI came across like something from the [i]Mortal Kombat[/i] franchise, the underworld and realm/portal jumping etc...
That's not to say all the CGI and imagination on show here is bad, oh no don't be fooled, some of the stuff we see is actually pretty good I thought. Take the giant cobra-esque monsters that are ridden into battle by Goddesses Anat and Astarte. Now this was easily the best CGI on show, it actually looked really good and really realistic (as far as giant cobra monsters go anyway). The two monsters were very Star Wars-esque for sure but they looked very intimidating with their huge razor sharp maws and were highly effective in their scene. Another good bit I liked was the giant space demon called Apophis, a shadow beast that God Ra must fight on a daily basis from his divine vessel in orbit around the Earth. Now again there were clearly elements taken from various other sci-fi movies here (take your pick really), the sandworms from [i]Dune[/i], a Sarlacc from [i]Star Wars[/i], a Graboid from [i]Tremors[/i] etc...So yes the design wasn't really original sure, but it still looked pretty good and it intrigued me, I found myself really wanting to see more of the beast and knowing more about its backstory.
In all honesty the problem wasn't really the visuals despite the maximus cheesiness (that heightened the fun for me), nor was it historical accuracy as a matter of fact. Despite the ravenous rantings from the SJW crowd the film does actually handle the ancient Egyptian mythology pretty well I thought. If you read up on the characters, the Gods, their weapons, traits etc...you'll find its all reasonably well represented or accounted for in some silly way (Horus and his super powerful eyesight linked to the wedjta eye for example). The problem is how seriously its all taken when its clearly a very light-hearted, silly fantasy with some rather silly things going on. I mean lets take the start where Set just walks into the city and takes over everything and everyone. Sure he has a big powerful army and he's the brother of the King so there wouldn't be much suspicion right away...but when he makes his move no one does anything! no one!! Where is the Kings guard or army?? We are told later on that Ra (who seems to be the uber God) doesn't interfere with other Gods or humans, but really? Set is going around killing other Gods, mortals and generally destroying Egypt, and you're not gonna step in and calm things down? There's no point stopping the giant shadow beast from eating the Earth if you're just gonna let Set wreck it.
But mores the point, Gods are immortal so to speak right, they can't really die as such I believe, yet in this movie they do. The Gods get killed off just as easily as humans in this movie, but surely if you're a God, and you die, can't you just come back? Or can't Ra bring you back? or can't you use your God powers to do something from the afterlife or whatever? The Afterlife appears to be a completely living realm so to speak, its treated like just another dimension or universe that certain Gods can jump into through portals. Bottom line, what I'm saying is the movie creates this world where there appears to be no boundaries for anything, not even death seems to be a hindrance for a character, so you'd think there would be no limits and no real threats as anything can be done. Also why do Gods need to rule Egypt? or anywhere? clearly they cause issues.
So...where do we stand here? Its tricky really, I can see the flaws, I know the flaws and I know technically this is a really bad movie of grandiose proportions. Yet despite all that I gotta say I found myself kinda enjoying the heck outta this. Lets be honest here this really is a giant mess but a thoroughly enjoyable, light-hearted, fantasy romp that is no different to many other movies that have gone the same way ('Stargate', 'John Carter' etc...). The array of creatures, weapons, outfits, locations etc...do show off the imagination and creativity used alongside real history, some of it is bad, some of it is good.
Likewise the plot is totally nuts but in no way any more outlandish than other movies of the genre, again some parts are good, some are stupid, pointless and don't make any sense...but hey no real surprise there. I didn't like how some characters come back to life at the end, or why the God Thoth has multiple clones of himself, how Butler's hair length changes during the movie, and how Goddess Hathor uses that bracelet to jump into the afterlife/underworld...because why exactly? The fact the people behind this (and the actors it seems) have taken it too seriously is what makes it so fun and corny. I genuinely don't think they intended this to be so jokey and daft, they clearly intended a universe of sequels, but alas it came out this way. Nonetheless I still had fun with this, the epitome of the throwaway, flashy, popcorn spectacle...that probably would have done massive business back in the 90's.
A decent action adventure kiddie movie with not-a-lot going on with the script. Surprise! Let's just get to the sparkly CGI fight scenes, could we? Don't be so picky. "Can I get more not-butter for my popcorn? More cold sugar water, too, please. With ice. Thanks."
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