When I first heard about big budget blockbuster Gods of Egypt being in production, I nearly wet myself with excitement at the prospect of it fulfilling the love that I’ve had with ancient civilizations since I was a child and the fact that it was starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (aka my Danish Dream Boyfriend No. 2) and Gerard Butler (yassssss at old mate Gerry strapping on them gladiator sandals again).
Then I kind of forgot about it until a trailer of it was shown before a screening of Deadpool and, despite it looking not that great, I was still determined to go and see it whilst my cinema-going companion at the time was probably giving me some side-eye action.
It’s a big day in Egypt – the co-existing gods and mortals have come together for the coronation of the new king. Osiris (Bryan Brown) has elected his son, Horus (Coster-Waldau), as the heir and Gods of Egypt proceeds to wheel out the big names in Egyptian Mythology so that we know who’s who in the who’s who of this end of The Nile. A Very Special (uninvited) Guest arrives in the form of Set (Butler), brother to Osiris, who has a major chip on his shoulder and an equally prominent sense of entitlement. He wants that throne for himself and kicks off the festivities by murdering The-Good-King and rendering Horus blind in the process, effectively sending the latter into exile as he proceeds to turn all of Egypt into a wasteland and enslaving its previously free people because he’s the bad guy and that’s what bad guys do and we’ve seen this all before.
Concurrent to this is a plotline that revolves around two mortals, Bek and Zaya, who are Very Much in Love with one another and, a few years down the track, get separated by a Series of Unfortunate events while hatching a plot to save Egypt by returning Horus’ eyes back to him. Eventually, Bek comes face-to-face with the blind, sulking god and the two strike up a mutually-beneficial deal and the ensuing bulk of the movie follows the odd couple as they pay a visit to the mighty sun god Ra on some kind of space rig and avoid Set’s attempts (namely whilst in a chariot led by scarabs the size of a Fiat 500 like a big bad bronzed Santa Claus) to track them down. In typical action blockbuster fashion, there’s a big face off and the whole thing ends as predictably as you’d expect.
Gods of Egypt is pretty freaking dumb. It has giant scarabs, gianter asps, an even gianter worm, grumpy old Ra (Geoffrey Rush), bad CGI transformations, and as much spray tan as all eleven seasons of Geordie Shore. There are plenty of moments to make you cringe, but it’s fun. It’s fun dumb. On a scale of dumb, it probably sits somewhere in between Batman and Robin’s so-bad-it’s-good bad and Jupiter Ascending’s so-bad-it’s-bad-except-for-Eddie-Redmayne’s-gloriously-OTT-performance bad. It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you literally facepalm and it’ll make you facepalm even more when the credits start rolling and the people sitting next to you exclaim how great the movie was without a single trace of irony. The best part of it is watching Gerard Butler completely hamming it up with a phoned-in performance so great that you can’t help but chuckle at when his Scottish accent sneaks into the dialogue. Get that paycheck, son!
I give this a light 3 out of 5 stars.