GODS OF EGYPT (Alex Proyas). 127 minutes. Opens Friday (February 26). See listing. Rating: N
Director Alex Proyas and Lionsgate have already apologized for the whitewashed cast of Gods Of Egypt, in which Caucasian actors like Gerard Butler and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau play deities warring above the Nile River. But the filmmakers have yet to atone for the sheer stupidity of this gaudy, cheap-CGI-laden spectacle.
Proyas and his writing team labour through elements from Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings trilogy and 300 (and maybe even a little Lion King) to produce a stillborn take on ancient Egypt’s mythology.
Here, the gods frolic among the humans and tend to morph into gold-plated winged creatures that might give 80s kids fond memories of Silverhawks. And yes, they are mostly white, though Black Panther himself Chadwick Boseman shows up as Thoth, the god of wisdom, a character who tips this movie’s diversity scale by cloning himself a hundred times.
Coster-Waldau’s Horus is lured out of exile by a petty thief (Brenton Thwaites) who keeps proving himself crafty (and deathly bland) on a journey to defeat Butler’s warmongering Set. Their exhausting adventure – across Egypt, up to the stars and down into the world of the dead – is complicated by romantic entanglements that have zero chemistry, either because the actors suck or simply didn’t have the room to emote in this overly plotted tale.
Butler, Boseman and Geoffrey Rush (as sun god Ra) don’t seem defeated by the material, though. They ham it up, seemingly aware that the most they can hope for is laughter.