Keeping Up With The Kardashians
In movies there are the good, the bad and the ugly. This one takes the cake of the latter, eats it, digests it, evacuates it and proudly shows off the result on screen. In other words, it’s shit.
Not only pilfering the Egyptian pantheon but unable to make anything of it, Gods of Egypt pictures its titular characters like temperamental imbeciles, almighty beings only able to settle their quarrels by way of bad one-liners and fisticuffs. They are helpless fools, a bit like the Windsors, but working out, and very tall. They also are modular and bleed gold.
In order of appearance, please meet Osiris (Bryan Brown) who’s about to crown his son Horus (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau) king, because that’s what immortal gods do, in front of a large crowd of which we’ll follow only two humans, Thief of Baghdad Bek and his girlfriend Zaya, “beauty of the Nile”, according to the poster. Argh. Osiris’ brother Set (not Seth, since Gerard Butler can’t spell), until then relegated to the desert, crashes the party, kills his brother and enucleates Horus, whose all-seeing eyes do not prove very effective on that instance. Horus is not killed thanks to Hathor, the Goddess of Love.
We are treated to other divine cameos, like Ra, the God of Sun (poor Geoffrey Rush, slumming) driving a celestial pedalo in hot pursuit of Apophis, the Night Snake, or like Thoth, the God of Knowledge (Chadwick Boseman), who’s black, gay and a comic relief as he lives amidst clones of himself. Oh, and he’s God of Wisdom, since the writers have no knowledge whatsoever of their subject matter: the thief will save the day while Gods bicker at each other. He’s the audience, see, the one we can identify with.
CGI is constant, allowing pyramids to grow like mushrooms. Egyptians can’t build robust architecture but they are a very innovative people, inventing things like the umbrella or the elevator. Godly traps prove childishly easy to avoid. The Afterlife is crowded like a peak hour subway. It is, all in all, super easy to kill a God.
Dialogue is abysmal, from the Sphinx saying anything but “Bummer!” when his riddle is solved to anything regarding Hathor. “Ah, you are not so good, Goddess of Love” deserves to join another pantheon, the one of worst movie lines ever. She answers in kind “I am the Goddess of too much!”. Well, rutabaga.