Alex Proyas’ fantastical Gods Of Egypt isn’t nearly as bad as a lot of it’s detractors would like you to think it is (though it’s also not nearly as good as it should have been).
One criticism you hear a lot is that the movie is white-washed–and at first glance that may appear a valid complaint–though it doesn’t stand up to closer scrutiny because there’re people of color in the movie.
What’s closer to the truth is that, with the exception of actors like Chadwick Boseman and Elodie Yung, there’re all background players, seemingly to add “color” to a scene.
Pardon the pun.
What’s more problematic than any supposed lack of people of color than main leading roles were filled by white actors who’d been badly cast, like Geoffrey Rush as Ra.
Rush is a great actor and it’s less a question of his ability than he just wasn’t a great choice for the role. Rush’s performance is too upper-crusty British–I’m aware he’s Australian–to appear anything but unintentionally comical.
Then there’s Set–played by Gerard Butler–who plays the role too obviously and brutishly, without a trace of nuance, as if working under the CGI’d Egyptian sun wore down any sense of subtlety the actor may have possessed.
(And speaking of the Sun, for a movie that supposedly takes place in Egypt I don’t once recall actually seeing it. Weird).
Then there’s his accent, which after a certain point the actor barely even tried to hide.
And I get we’re talking about a movie about Egyptian gods, but I’m comfortable assuming that if they were to exist they wouldn’t have Scottish accents.
It feels that Proyas was given free rein to do what he wanted, and while that can sometimes result in a sublime work, it can also end give you something like Gods Of Egypt.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s not that it’s a bad film, it’s just chock full of really odd decisions, like an over reliance of sometimes wonky special effects to even odder choices in casting though sometimes you can see what Proyas was trying to do and realize that there’s a really amazing movie trying to get out of Gods Of Egypt, and sure it for the most part fails to do so, though the effort is in and of itself is worth watching and on some levels, admiring.