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We’re Cursing the Gods of Egypt in Trailer # 2

Film: Gods of Egypt

What We Know So Far: The plot centers around the Egyptian god of darkness Set assuming the throne of Egypt while a mortal man named Bek allies himself with Horus, another god, to take it back and save the world, and Bek’s girl.

The Trailer: Official #2

Our Take

Dan: Shoddy FX and a comedic tone that falls flat severely dampen any anticipation for this Prince of Persia meets Immortals (minus the visionary direction of Tarsem Singh) fantasy adventure. While some of the creatures look pretty cool, most of the other visual effects creations look like a videogame. The young hero (Brandon Thwaites) jumps around obstacles like platforming gameplay in Super Mario or something. He also has some of the worst green screen replacements to act in front of. Jamie Lannister from Game of Thrones (Nikolas Costa Waldau) steps into the mentor role as Horus with magical armour (looking like the Egyptian alien costumes in Stargate) and metal wings that look awesome but plays off a little goofy. At least this new trailer ditches some of the cheesier jokes from the first sneak peek. Maybe the humour works better in the proper context; however, in the trailers it just doesn’t work. It’s too bad, the story could have worked as well. The historical legend of Osiris and Set (Gerard Butler here) is ripe for a real world approach. Instead of an FX-laden myth we could get the gritty realism of a sword and sandals story on par with Ridley Scott’s Gladiator. According to iconic fantasy author Neil Gaiman, the tale of Osiris is “the greatest story never told.” Unfortunately, it looks like it will remain that way. Hollywood needs to give the mainstream audience a serious historical Egyptian epic starring the likes of Idris Elba and Chiwitel Ejiofor at opposing ends of conflict. Race shouldn’t factor into the box office pressures for the studio. It’s not like Thwaites and Waldau are huge draws or anything to lead this fantasy adaptation. I propose that an Elba and Ejiofor Gladiator-like film would rake in even more cash than massively popular movies with Black leads, like Straight Outta Compton, or popcorn flicks like No Good Deed and Ride Along. The mainstream is ready for this, instead of being bored by what we have been promised with this trailer for Gods of Egypt.

David: Directed by Alex Proyas (Knowing, The Crow), this fantasy film has caught flak for its mostly white cast and even more attention for the public apology both the studio and Proyas made afterward, something that feels a little planned, as if they knew full well what was going to happen. That aside, the movie looks to be just another aimless special effects driven gigantic monster movie where everything gets destroyed, resembling the failed Clash of the Titan films from a few years ago. This second clip is a hopeless mess of bombastic chaos and tired, cliched action, for which I am entirely numb. And it feels somewhat awkward that the mythological foundation of an ancient Egyptian religion is handled so tritely by an American movie company filming in Australia (and with everyone speaking modern English with silly phrases like, “Try to keep up.”). Either way, the story is utterly inconsequential to the explosions with beautiful people splayed all over the screen while taking no steps towards treating this with intelligence or education, at least by what is shown in this clip. Geoffrey Rush is Ra? It’s frustrating and unfortunate that something that could be truly revealing and still made with mass appeal must be dumbed down for what studios think is what people want. And there can be no having Gerard Butler in a red cape yelling for a call to war in movie that doesn’t have the numbers 300 on in it. 

What to Look for in the Trailer

Dan Says: While I enjoy some fantasy-based adventures based on history, this one looks to miss the mark. It’s just too over-the-top. Finding the best Moment was quite a challenge. My Sneak Peek Moment comes at the end of the trailer (much like David’s selection) . . . but not because it stops the torment. The title credits actually look pretty cool, with the armour looking background gone all kaleidoscope. I like the visual of this repeating pattern. That’s something “good” right? Too bad, it’s not a part of the actual movie. The best creature Moment was when the dragon roared. This beast got me to perk up . . . for the half second it was on screen. That said, and however unlikely, there is a chance that the marketing team just botched this assignment. Alex Proyas helmed two of my favourite 90s cult classics – The Crow and Dark City – so, I suppose I should afford him the benefit of doubt. Perhaps, the tone will fit in the story’s context, and the CG will go through a few more renders. Perhaps?

David Says: There’s barely a redeemable moment in this brief second trailer, which somehow manages to at least be better than the first, but my Sneak Peek Moment comes when . . . actually readers, there is none, except to view it in its entirety as an example of how soulless and misguided this film is. There are much better movies coming in early 2016, and I hope this one passes into obscurity without a sound.



Alex Proyas

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