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Breaking The Golden Rule of CGI: A Review of 'Gods of Egypt'

If you enjoy excessive amounts of CGI, an abundance of obvious green screen usage, or golden-tinted shots featuring ghetto gold outfits and even gold blood, then Alex Proyas’ latest epic onslaught Gods of Egypt is probably for you.

In a somewhat nostalgic fashion, the opening scene of the film is not completely unlike the animated market stall scene from Disney’s Aladdin – in which Aladdin steals some food and is chased by palace guards – albeit with slightly less charm. It is in this same way that we are introduced to Bek (played by Australian-born Brendon Thwaites, who struggles desperately with his character’s Game of Thrones-esque dialogue), a young mortal who lives for his beloved, in a world where Gods walk the Earth and are often some inches larger than the mere mortals who surround them.

The film’s main plotline sees Bek set out on a quest with Horus, God of Air, played by Danish Game of Thrones veteran Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Together they embark on a search for Horus’ eyes – the source of his power – and to win back the life of Bek’s love interest Zaya, played by fellow Australian actress Courtney Eaton. Cue gargantuan CGI worm-like creatures, a quick CGI trip to the Underworld, and a few off-perspective shots of an oddly tall Horus besides a lesser Bek, against a questionable backdrop of a stock photo desert.

With the exception of two slightly-above-average fight scenes between Horus and bad guy Set, played by Scottish-born Gerard Butler, the film was something of a spectacle, with Butler delivering a very one-note performance of anger throughout. With lacklustre acting that seemed to play second or third fiddle to its opulent and extravagant landscapes and scenery, the film feels very much like a vanity piece for Proyas, demonstrating how far CGI has come, and yet how easy it still is to overuse it. Furthermore, even before its release the film quickly became surrounded by controversy, with accusations being made of whitewashing due to the lead roles all being filled by Europeans.

Overall, Gods of Egypt is a great film if you're looking for a distraction from thinking, but not the one to pick if you are after a good storyline, character development, or stellar acting.

 

Written by Maame Blue


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