Sunday, 23 October 2016

Gods of Egypt (2016)

“Hoo-Ra! It’s GODS OF EGYPT!”

         Alex Proyas’ infamous megabudget spectacle comes to DVD, Blu-ray and 3D Blu-ray courtesy of Entertainment One, but is it as bad as so many people have claimed? Well, I’ll admit that if you want to have any chance of finding GODS OF EGYPT fun (and it’s actually heaps and heaps of fun, oh yes indeedy) than you need to approach it in the right way. Perhaps a bit like this:

         Bryan Brown is Osiris - a god and the King of Egypt. For some reason he decides to make his son Jamie Lannister king instead. We aren’t told why, but perhaps Bryan wants to get back to the sheep shearing that made him famous in THE THORN BIRDS. There’s a big coronation ceremony. Osiris’ brother Set the God of Darkness (it says here) is late. He is played by that man who was very proud of loudly saying what country he was from in that film about Sparta. Being a God of Darkness has left him looking okay but has done something very strange to his accent, and now he seems to be possessed by the spirit of Sean Connery. Set brings Darkness to the land (which everyone seems oddly surprised about) by killing Osiris and blinding Jamie, making us wonder if Nikolaj Coster-Waldau has it in his contract that every role he plays must involve him losing at least one body part.

If I don't lose a body part soon I'm off
Meanwhile, we have also been introduced to two typical examples of the Egyptian working class. These are a pretty girl called Zaya who can’t act at all but has a cleavage so magnificently distracting that quite a lot of the viewing audience just won’t care, and a pretty boy called Bek with perfect skin who can’t deliver his lines very well either. However, as it’s already been demonstrated that you don’t have to act to even be a god in this place we assume that’s not going to hamper him in whatever adventure this film has planned. 

"The only way to meet Geoffrey Rush is to pretend you're Johnny Depp!"
         Bek enters Rufus Sewell’s Video Game of Doom to grab one of Jamie’s eyes. Zaya gets shot and we gasp as the crossbow bolt doesn’t actually bounce off her wooden acting. Jamie’s relaxing in his ?tomb. Bek drops Zaya there and does a deal with Jamie to get his other eye back and defeat Set who plans to take over the world and kill all the other gods which include the rather sexy Nephthys. Continuity fans will love the bit where Set quite obviously treads on Nephthys’s cloak but she gets to her feet without any effort in the next shot anyway. Maybe that’s what being a god is really all about.

"What is it you'll be wantin' up here in space then, Jaaaaaack?"
         Jamie visits Captain Barbossa from PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN who has somehow ended up in space fighting Cthulhu (I know - How could any critic claim that this film isn’t brilliant?). Barbossa sends Jamie Lannister back to earth with a magic potion and he and the pretty boy fight some giant human cows before falling off a waterfall.
         Meanwhile, Set is in his flying chariot being pulled along by giant beetles (you see? This film gets even BETTER) laying waste to everything. Some stuff happens. Jamie turns into a metal flying eagle. Jamie and Set fight and Set bleeds gold in a misplaced tribute to Sean Connery in GOLDFINGER. The film is nearly over and I still haven't told you about the sphinx, the lettuce, the slave girls, that goddess whose dress nearly falls off in a swamp and whose name I don't think I ever learned, the secret lair of Thoth accessed by a door that looks like something off VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA, or lots and lots and lots of CGI that gives us a very odd-looking version of Egypt indeed.
         GODS OF EGYPT is not to be taken at all seriously. I bet five year olds love it. I loved it. I saw it at the cinema and now I’ve seen it on Blu-ray and if anything the Blu-ray is even better. There are some extras on the disc that try to make out this was an actual real film that was meant to be about gods in Egypt but don’t be fooled. This is a marvellous, flamboyant, two hour-plus stream of random consciousness that feels like the big-budget piss take of adventure movies Ken Russell never go the chance to make. The box office performance of this means there will never be a sequel and there shouldn’t be, because you can never catch lightning like this in the same canopic jar twice. Watch it and see what I mean. THE Trapped in the Room with It picture of 2016, and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible. 

GODS OF EGYPT, directed by Alex DARK CITY & THE CROW Proyas, is out on DVD, Blu-ray and 3D Blu-ray from Monday 24th October. 

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