Did I attend Wednesday’s all-media screening of Gods of Egypt? You might just as well ask, “So, did you jump into that cesspool you discovered last year when you were hiking in the outlying suburbs of Tijuana?” Imagine the nihilism and corruption that created this thing…imagine the self-loathing that director Alex Proyas must have felt this morning when he looked in his bathroom mirror. It was obvious from last November’s trailer that it was delivering a kind of super-CG poison. I’m sorry but submitting to a film like this just didn’t seem worth it, and I mean not even close.
Who in the world would pay to see this thing? Then I remembered a young Hispanic couple standing in the Arclight lobby in late November of 2011. Here’s my description: “Early this evening a young Latino couple was looking at the digital lobby board inside Hollywood’s Arclight plex. The guy walked forward, got into line and turned to the girl. ‘You wanna comedy? Or…what, action? A comedy?’ The girl half-shrugged, seemed more than a bit bored. ‘I dunno…whatever,’ she said. He shrugged also, turned back to the board.” Right?
I was a little surprised when I discovered a 10% Rotten Tomatoes rating. Why not a zero rating? Because someone had given it some kind of perverse, half-assed pass. That person turned out to be N.Y. Times critic Manohla Dargis. Here’s an except from her review:
“This isn’t to oversell Gods of Egypt or to argue that it’s somehow superior to The Revenant, each a favorite pastime of self-regarding critic-contrarians. Rather, it is to cheerfully admit that I enjoyed Gods of Egypt despite the lazily generic non-story, the dubious Eurocentric casting and (intentionally?) unconvincing effects that make you wonder (another imponderable) why they didn’t just make this an animated picture.
“As is often the case in many midlevel and even pricier movies of this type, the more that filmmakers try to reproduce or fabricate entire worlds inside a computer, the less persuasive the results are. As is also often true, the aerial views and crowd shots are particularly unnatural and unattractive, and have none of the painterly beauty of Hollywood’s classical-era backdrops.”