Tuesday, September 24, 2019

By the Gods!

Gerard Butler as Set in GODS OF EGYPT (2016)

I avoided watching this movie, not due to the fact that it was panned by every critic out there but simply because new PEPLUM movies are, in general, so predictably disappointing. I finally watched it a few days ago and well, this one was different. First, I need to say that it is wildly inconsistent. Some great stuff meshed with some really cringy stuff. It's a shame the movie was so badly received because this is the most PEPLUM movie made recently! It has ALL the elements of your average PEPLUM tale/production, including a good-hearted thief (below, played by Brenton Thwaites, shades of Giuliano Gemma), his girlfriend Zaya (Courtney Eaton), who reminds me of Bella Cortez, and for the first time in a long time, could be a Queen of neo-PEPLUM cinema. Her journey in the underworld is my favourite part. And of course there's two beefy men battling each other, with Set (Butler, who's fun to watch) fighting Horus (a miscast Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). The action, the fighting or the general action throughout, is pure PEPLUM escapism. The score is memorable. It's obvious that director Alex Proyas is a big fan of the genre. This is much better than CLASH OF THE TITANS (2010) remake or JOHN CARTER (2012). It's a shame there are many bad scenes, such as the Sphinx scene, which eclipsed the good ones. The casting of some of the roles was bad/questionable. And the uneven CGI also didn't help. Recommended to fans of PEPLUM cinema with some reservations. 

Set's soldiers with shields glowing like the sun, to blind Horus. Another movie inspired by the climax from SOLOMON & SHEBA (1959)


Anonymous said...

I felt the same way. I avoided it when it was in theaters and it took a long time for me to finally watch it on DVD. It has its problems but it is fun and entertaining and it looks really good, for the most part.

Richard Svensson said...

It seemed that what upset people the most about this movie was that it had no Egyptian actors in it, all the gods were played by Europeans, basically, resulting in that most dreaded Hollywood sin: Whitewashing. The critique against this movie was so harsh that Alex Proyas publically apologized for making the movie. That actually turned my sympathy towards "Gods of Egypt". My main consternation had been that it would drown in hideous CGI, and sometimes it does. There are some scenes that truly baffle the mind (at least my mind) how they could be OKed and inserted into the film.
But I love the concept and the production design. The actors are very good for their roles, especially Geoffrey Rush as a weary Ra.