Thursday, March 3, 2016

Gods of Egypt - I liked it


Let the hating begin, I liked it.

I giggled for sure, but I was never tempted to walk out as I was during Exodus: Gods and Kings. It didn't take itself seriously, so there were lots of in-jokes and snarky comments. By the time a villain was sliding off a Pyramid with an incredulous face, saying "Whaaaaaaaaaaaat," my movie companion and fellow Egyptology nerd were on the popcorn-strewn floor, trying to catch our breath. And it was a good thing. (Just so you know, she self-identifies as Set, and I self-identify as Thoth, which meant more good times as we saw our personality quirks on the big screen.)

Gods of Egypt is "loosely" based on The Contendings of Horus and Seth, which might be one of the silliest, most violent, least coherent set of stories among so many less than coherent Egyptian myths. While the movie didn't stay true to The Contendings (Osiris isn't Lord of the Dead; Isis doesn't get her head chopped off; and the infamous lettuce incident was only hinted at), I wonder if staying true might make an impossible to watch movie. Pryoas, like so many before him cherry-picked, and I didn't go to the movie to get a lesson in Ancient Egyptian mythology. Yet, in spite of that, the movie felt oddly true to the spirit of The Contendings with its preening Set, ambivalent Horus, and the shilly-shallying of the other gods. And OMG, it had the best rendering I've seen of Ra's sun boat.

Director Proyas seenmed to be paying homage to the late Ray Harryhausen with his special effects and over-the-top action sequences. There also seemed to be some sequences that gave a tip of the hat to Indiana Jones and Star Wars as well.

Speaking of the rendering and the special effects of the various gods, I thought Set, Ra, Thoth, and Anubis were rather brilliant. Horus was somewhat disappointing, and I can't put my finger on it.  Sadly, will we be able to look at a giant snake ever again without thinking of Dune? I think not.

So, if you're looking for a fun movie with lots of action that in the end is rather uplifting, Gods of Egypt is a good choice. If you're wondering, YES, I'll be buying a copy of it when it comes out on DVD (or rather, I'll be adding it to my Amazon film library.)

And if you don't believe me, ask my companion in crime, CE Robertson, who also wrote a review.

Since the negative reviews are so much easier to find than the positive ones, here are a few more for your perusal.

Gods of Egypt director calls film critics ‘deranged idiots’ after negative reviews and box-office flop

Gods of Egypt director Alex Proyas has posted a seething rant on Facebook branding film critics “deranged idiots”. Proyas’ fantasy epic flopped with a $14 million debut despite a budget of $140 million, making him far from flavour of the month with studio Lionsgate.

But the 52-year-old, best known for I, Robot and The Crow, insists that reviewers hate him no matter what he does because they “fail to understand or pretend to not understand what the movie is”.

In ‘Gods of Egypt,’ That Doughnut Beast Is Stepping on My Sandal

Bosomy damsels and brawny slabs; cheering digital crowds; a lachrymose sphinx; a bedazzled Geoffrey Rush; a galactic cruise ship; an Egyptian god played by the Dane Nikolaj Coster-Waldau; the sword-and-sandals enabler Gerard Butler; a smoky monster that from one angle looks like a fanged doughnut and from another an alarmingly enraged anus — “Gods of Egypt” attests that they do make them like they used to, or at least like the King of the Bs, Roger Corman, once did, except with far more money. If “Gods of Egypt” were any worse, it might be a masterpiece.

Gods of Egypt review: Imaginative mythological adventure epic evolves amid flaws

With Hollywood in the midst of a fantasy boom, it's baffling that gifted Australian director Alex Proyas (Dark City) hasn't found more regular employment. His first feature in seven years, Gods of Egypt, is an uneven but impressive fantasy epic, set in a mythical Ancient Egypt where gods and mortals live side by side (Proyas, himself, comes from a Greek-Egyptian background).

We wanted to dislike Gods of Egypt, but …

Gods of Egypt is impossible to hate, even though you probably should. This sword-and-sandal adventure (which is really a superhero film in disguise) is a thoroughly enjoyable visual feast, especially in 3D, thanks in no small part to its Australian cast.

Rare for a blockbuster action movie, it targets both genders. There are plenty of fights scenes — sword fights, magic and even battles in space — but at its heart it is a romance.

Who Are The 'Gods Of Egypt'? The New Movie Put Some Forgotten Deities Back Into The Spotlight

The new movie Gods of Egypt looks, for lack of a better word, insane. The trailers depict a flashy, CGI world full of crazy effects, intense dialogue, and enough drama to fill the Great Pyramid of Giza. Yet despite its clearly 2016-made craziness, the film actually draws the bulk of its characters from real Egyptian history. The gods in the movie were worshipped by the people of Ancient Egypt for centuries, but for the most part they're far less familiar to Western audiences than their Greek or Norse counterparts.

‘Gods of Egypt’ Clips: Praise to Elektra and Black Panther

Before Elodie Yung makes her debut as Elektra on Season 2 of Netflix’s Daredevil next month, we’ll see her in theaters as the ancient Egyptian goddess Hathor in the controversial but balls-to-the-wall crazy-looking Gods of Egypt. If you had any doubts the film would be even more over-the-top than Wrath of the Titans, here are a couple clips with proof.

Scottish action hero Gerard Butler lives out boyhood dream

If a fortune-teller had come to Gerard Butler at the start of his acting career and predicted he would end up wearing a leather skirt and brandishing a sword in some of the biggest films of his career, the star says his response would have been "Yes, please!"

His role as Spartan king Leonidas in 300 (2007) and 300: Rise Of An Empire (2014) - a historical fantasy set in ancient Greece - has given the 46-year-old Scottish performer a bit of a taste for swords-and- sandals movies.

Speaking to The Straits Times in Los Angeles, the Hollywood star reveals he has always had a soft spot for escapist fantasy flicks, which is why he was happy to revisit the genre in his new film Gods Of Egypt, where he plays the power-hungry Egyptian god Set.