Director: Alex Proyas
Starring: Brenton Thwaites, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Gerard Butler, Courtney Eaton, Geoffrey Rush, Elodie Yung, Bryan Brown
Written by: Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless
Running Time: 126 mins
Release date: 17th June 2016
It’s been quite a while when I have seen a decent so-bad-it’s-good movie but I think I’ve found it. From the director of The Crow and Dark City, comes the campest thing this side of Flash Gordon. All that is missing is a Queen soundtrack. This is a mess of a film full of deadly serious performances and confused plotting, yet looking magnificent in its scale and while you may never have a clue what is going on, it is, somehow, entertaining.
Set, a god of Egypt, wants the ultimate power of the nation and so goes about dethroning Horus, blinding him. With Set’s plan to steal the powers of the other gods, it is up to mortal Bek to get Horus on his side and, with the help of other gods, get Horus’s powers back to take on his evil relative.
If you have knowledge of the Egyptian gods and appreciate their stories, then this might be a film to stay well clear of, as it plays very loose with the legends as well as the gods themselves. Director Alex Proyas, who is known for his much darker material as well as having an eye for visuals, has managed to keep one intact. The film is large in scale and brimming with special effects, even if some of those are less than realistic. As for his usual dark side, this is bright and eye-catching as if it was sponsored by Skittles, colourful and full of sugar.
Yet as the confused and often contrived story speeds along at a break-neck pace, so you cannot see the huge gaping holes in the plot, with a flashy effect here and another bombastic set piece there, you find yourself wondering what is going on and why the cast is taking the whole thing way too seriously. The dialogue becoming increasingly more laughable, you find yourself whispering under your breath “Ye Gods!” at how ludicrous this gets.
So we have Game Of Throne’s Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Horus, who can turn himself into a giant bird, taking on grunting Gerard Butler, who can turn himself into a giant bull, while Geoffrey Rush, with his bald head and ponytail (I kid you not) flying around the night sky on a boat as the god of the Sun.
It tends to borrow from every sci-fi and fantasy film from the past 30 years. We have a touch of Clash of the Titans via Dune with a pinch of Star Wars thrown in. There are even moments which could have been ripped from the 80’s Flash Gordon. I was hoping Brian Blessed would turn up and announce that Gordon was still alive! Yet among the madness that seems to have been thrown at the screen in the hope that something will stick, it is wildly entertaining in a sort of awful way.
Like Jupiter Ascending, this is bonkers to the point of near genius. God of Egypt is a messy, incoherent blockbuster that failed to ignite the American box office and will probably fall down flat here in the UK. Yet if you are looking for something that is totally off the wall and laughably bad, then treat yourself and hear Gerard Butler say lines like “I tore the wings off my wife. Imagine what I’ll do to YOU…!”