Gods of Egypt (2016)

In ancient Egypt as portrayed in this movie, the gods have chosen to live among mortal kind, ruling them as kings. However, when Osiris decides to pass the throne on to his son, Horus, his brother Set decides he wants to rule all of Egypt, not just the barren desert. Blinded and defeated, it takes a cheeky mortal thief, Bek, to draw Horus back into the fight to save the kingdom from Set’s evil rule.

The biggest thing about this movie is the critical slating it received – wow, but did people hate this movie! I knew that going in, and thus am left in that awkward position of admitting I actually kind of enjoyed it 😉

Which isn’t to say that this is a good movie, or that it doesn’t have about a gazillion flaws. The story line is cliched, the casting is occasionally atrocious (the ‘white washing’ accusations generated a heap of apologies, but personally I mean Bryan Brown as Osiris and Geoffrey Rush as Ra – what?!), and I was stunned by how awful some of the CGI is. Given the scale and ambitions of the film, surely getting the effects right would have been a priority?! But no: I got the impression that they sunk the money in the finale, leaving the beginning looking very ropy indeed.

Special mention, too, to just not bothering with some of the basics: the gods are meant to be several feet taller than the mortals. Basic physics: when wading through water that comes up to a god’s knees, it should be probably about half-drowning the shorter mortal, not just at his knees, too. It’s just so sloppy!

But… you know what, I was in the mood to be entertained, and somehow I was. It helped that my expectations were low, and that I love Egyptian mythology. I also wasn’t too put out watching Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (aka Jaime Lannister) running around in a leather mini skirt for a couple of hours (although really, he could have washed his hair!) 😉 I know the casting was controversial on other levels, but letting the heroes be in their 40s actually slightly impressed me. Unlike the teenage-y ‘mortal’ character, who left zero impression. Hmm.

I’ll repeat: this is not a good movie. But it’s also not as awful as all that, and vaguely entertaining for popcorn fare if you’re in the right frame of mind for it.

Released: 17th June 2016
Viewed: 29th June 2016
Running time: 126 minutes
Rated: 12A

My rating: 5/10 – more enjoyable than the critics had it, while still being pretty dreadful in many regards!

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