Star Rating:

Gods of Egypt

Director: Alex Proyas

Actors: Abbey Lee, Gerard Butler

Release Date: Friday 17th June 2016

Genre(s): Adventure, Fantasy

Running time: 100 minutes

Alex Proyas' fantastical vision of Egypt isn't enough to save this laughably bad, poorly realised adventure fantasy starring C-list actors and a script riddled with painfully bad cliches and ham-fisted trailerspeak.

Wow. Where to begin? When Gods of Egypt was first released in the US and met with near-universally bad reviews, one would have expected both the director, the producers and the cast to take it on the chin and accept the drubbing it received as the nature of the game. They can't all be winners, sure, and there's enough goodwill stored up for Alex Proyas from his previous work that would have allowed him to chalk Gods of Egypt down as a misstep and leave it at that. But no. Proyas went on a rampage across social media where he talked about politically-correct film reviewers forming a consensus opinion on his film without seeing it. With that in mind, it's hard to approach Gods of Egypt without knowing that it's been trounced by audiences and critics alike AND the fact that the director's trying to defend his white-wash casting.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is Horus, an arrogant Egyptian god who's about to be crowned ruler of Egypt by his father, Osiris - played by Cocktail's Bryan Brown. Yes, really. Just as Osiris is about the pass the throne to his son, Set - played by Gerard Butler - arrives to mess things up royally (heh) and take the crown for himself. In the process, he blinds Horus and takes his eyes. That's usually how blinding works. In the middle of all this, Bek - played by Home and Away's Brenton Thwaites - and his beautiful girlfriend, model Courtney Eaton, have been drawn into the battle between gods as Bek is an expert thief. That's the basic gist of the story; Horus has to redeem himself and learn him humility with the help of a plucky thief.

There are so many points throughout Gods of Egypt that are so ridiculous that it is utterly, utterly laughable. Here's one example - Geoffrey Rush plays the father of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Gerard Butler, who lives on a space station above a flat Earth. The costume design and CGI looks like it was borrowed from Michael Jackson's music video Remember The Time. That was the one with Iman and Eddie Murphy in Egypt that was made in 1992. Yes, the CGI is so old-looking in this film that it predates some of its cast members. It's no surprise that the dialgoue and script is just as awful when you consider it was written by two writers responsible for two of the most poorly reviewed films in recent years. We are, of course, referring to Vin Diesel's The Last Witch Hunter and Luke Evans' Dracula Untold. In fact, in both cases, the films relied heavily on cheaply-made special effects to cover up the terrible script. Gods of Egypt makes it three for three.

We mentioned the almost insanely poor casting choices. You might think, on paper, there's some goodness to be drawn here. There isn't. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau's character is so two-dimensional that it's almost funny. Oh, and for another added bit of hilarity, all the gods stand a few feet taller than mortals and have gold for blood. Coster-Waldau's clearly phoning in his performance, probably something he signed on to keep himself occupied in between Game of Thrones. Gerard Butler, meanwhile, is essentially rehashing his performance from 300 - which was ten years ago, this year. Brenton Thwaites is the new Orlando Bloom, all cheery-eyed smiles and absolutely no depth whatsoever. Courtney Eaton, who plays his love interest, doesn't seem all that interested in him or anything else going on. Geoffrey Rush appears for a scene or two to ham it up in the old tradition whilst Chadwick Boseman - who was excellent as Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War - is here channeling Eddie Murphy in Coming To America.

At last, we come to the big kahuna who made all this terrible decisions and OK'd the entire thing - Alex Proyas. Casting his fellow countrymen in key roles just reeks of utter vanity. Bryan Brown, from Cocktail, as an Egyptian king-god? Come off it. It's entirely possible that Proyas probably tried to rope in Mel Gibson for a role and, if he could, he would have had Brax from Home and Away play Coster-Waldau's role or something. The sheer stupidity of the entire thing is baffling and, at no point, is there anything even remotely entertaining about this. The fight sequences are poorly filmed and have no texture; you could almost imagine yourself holding a game controller as you're watching it. Likewise, the choice of visuals are so lazy and unoriginal that there's nothing here even to talk about. The CGI - which really does look like it was made fifteen or twenty years ago - makes up about 70% of the film, so it's impossible to even avoid it if you wanted to.

Expect to see Gods of Egypt in many Worst of 2016 lists. Laughably shit.