26 June 2016

Why You Should See Gods Of Egypt

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As an agnostic I was always open-minded to the possibility of an afterlife, and miracles, and all of that other religious bollocks. I just needed proof. Well after almost three decades of existence I have finally been given the definitive answer as to where that truth lies. There is a God and I can only assume that he's a very fucking angry one. Previously we'd be subject to plagues and famines if we pissed our unprovable overlords off, however our modern deity has a new form of punishment. Although we might expect to see our rivers turning red with blood, we instead now find our cinemas polluted with shit. Because Gods Of Egypt was so truly terrible, I refuse to believe that a mere human was capable of making it. It's one of those movies that's actually so confusingly awful that you genuinely run the risk of losing your grasp on reality whilst watching it. I mean, we went to see this at the cinema and subsequently burst out two hours later completely confused that it was still the same day that we'd gone in. It was as if that screening was the wardrobe that led to Narnia and we all thought we'd lived a lifetime in there before being blinded by that same day's sun as though we were staring up at the fucking mothership from Close Encounters. Gods Of Egypt was like a bad night out drinking in that you don't remember what happened but you're certain that you didn't have fun and you know that your IQ has dropped as a result.

Having said that though, I do think that it's helped me to finally understand exactly what Gerard Butler is. Previously I'd thought that he was hell-bent on world destruction, with films such as Olympus Has Fallen being a way of distracting us from any form of societal progression. However in trying to figure out what kind of fucking curse Gods Of Egypt was, I read that when Butler discovered he was playing a God he instantly hit the gym because he 'wanted to make sure [he] looked like one by the time shooting began'. Was he successful with this? Maybe.. I don't know. But I'd certainly say that he looks at least like a king. Or to be specific, King fucking Leonidas. Because, as ever, Butler refuses to do any actual acting and instead relies on his muscles and shouting to get him through a performance. Oh and, of course, he usually shouts in the wrong fucking accent. I mean- does that sound like anybody else? How about Arnie? Or Dolph Lundgren? Or Jean-Claude van Damme? 300 is Butler's most famous role and having been written by Frank Miller, Leonidas isn't a million miles away from Batman or Sin City's Marv. Marv who, by the way, was described by fellow character Dwight as “being born in the wrong century”. Well, Butler may not have been born in the wrong century but he was certainly born in the wrong fucking decade. He's a 1980's action beef-cake who has simply been burdened with a career that's twenty years too late. If we lived in a kind world then he'd now be in his mid-60's and cashing it in with a well earned place in the cast of The Expendables. But we don't live in a kind world, do we? We live in a world in which Gods Of fucking Egypt exists.

But what is actually wrong with the film, I hear you ask. Well firstly I'd say that without question Gerard Butler is the best thing about it by a country mile.. and that's not a good sign, is it. That's like asking somebody how their holiday went and having them respond that “the dodgy food that led to a few days of sicking up the fucking walls wasn't the worst part”. I think that the rest of the cast simply struggle to keep their heads above the constant flow of crap whereas floating in a sea of molten shit is completely within Butler's comfort zone. As such, literally none of the characters are even remotely believable which is a shame because even if they'd been written and performed well they'd still have required at least a small leap of faith. Essentially the movie takes place in an Egypt in which Gods and mortals live together, with Butler ruling over them as an evil tyrant with no obvious final goal. And speaking of mad dictators with no believable aims, the story is quite literally as pointless as attempting to sharpen a pencil up Donald Trump's saggy arse, with the plot-beats being as equally fucking loose as his droopy donut of a hole. In fact, you know how actors are always trying to bullshit about how great and original their movie is? Well one of the lead actors in this is quoted as saying “It is like 300, because Gerard Butler is in a pair of knickers swinging a sword in this one too.” And he's not wrong in the slightest because that is both of those films summarised perfectly.. but again, it's not a good thing, is it? Surely?

At the start of the movie, Butler kills his brother and then rips out the eyes of his nephew Horus. Horus then has to get his eyes back so that he can take revenge whilst we all sit there and get fucking jealous that he no longer has to see the shit that we can on screen. Horus however doesn't really know what he's doing and so basically just keeps going places before concluding that was the wrong place to go and wandering off somewhere else. I don't know if he was meant to be a metaphor for the effects of old age, considering the guy playing him is in his 40's, but I was certainly getting a very dementia-y vibe from him. Also despite being a character in this movie, I can also only conclude that Horus, the blinded idiot, must also have been responsible for the special effects here because they were fucking dire. For a movie that relies so heavily on computer generated imagery, it seems an odd decision to have the film look like an early Naughties Gamecube game as replicated from the memory of a lobotomised floating turd. However that's obviously the direction they've gone in, and as such the final hour was just a blur of colour and shapes without form or meaning. Imagine hitting the wrong button on your Ant-Man suit and accidental slipping into the Quantum Realm whilst stoned off your tits and that's kind of like what experiencing this movie was like.

Oh, and I know it seems slightly pointless of me to mention that the film is set in Egypt considering the title of the movie, but seems as the bulk of cast are 'white' to 'only very slightly tanned' and all of them speak with a dodgy English accent, it'd be easy to miss. As a result of this too, the film has obviously come under attack for its blatant white-washing for which all involved have already issued sincere apologies... You know the kind of sincere apologies that imply that they were either completely ignorant to the variety of races that humanity consists of, or that they were aware and just went ahead with their honky cast anyway. In which case, how genuine can that apology really be? I'm not really sure which is worse, but what I do know is that although it's pretty fucking bad that a film set in Egypt doesn't feature a single Egyptian actor, if I were them I really wouldn't worry about missing this one. Obviously this is an issue in general, but in this specific case, I'd say that not being in Gods Of Egypt is a bit like not being invited to a swingers party because you're too tall before finding out afterwards that the only other person there was the leader of the Westboro Baptist church. At the end of the day, you are right to be outraged by the blatant prejudice, but there are certainly much better things to find yourself stuck in.
And speaking of figures of hate, I suppose this leads me to the final issue of the critics versus the film's director and why I think that you should all go and see Gods Of Egypt. Because being that the movie is unquestionably bad, the critics tore into it like 'a pack of diseased vultures pecking at the bones of a dying carcass”. They're not my words by the way, but those of the director Alex Proyas who responded to the negative reviews with a long Facebook rant in which he referred to his critics as 'deranged idiots'. In response to that, one of my personal heroes Mark Kermode, the BBC film critic, filmed a blog in which he actually agreed with Proyas by stating “Vultures peck away at things that are dead. That are rotten, that are decomposing, foul smelling, that are basically putrefying. In that respect Alex, I'm happy to say that I am indeed a vulture and your film is road kill.” Well, he's not wrong. But throughout the entire duration of Gods Of Egypt, I'd be lying if I told you that I was bored. It's one of those movies that's so bad that you kind of can't take your eyes off it which is conveniently true of “a dying carcass" too. At the very least, this movie is worth seeing to make you appreciate how good a good film actually is. But in reality, I feel like the kids from Stand By Me in that I've found the movie equivalent to a dead body and now morbid curiosity is making me want to lead you all up the tracks to see it. You won't enjoy what you're seeing, but if you're like me you'll be grateful that you felt compelled to find it. So thanks for reading, motherfuckers, and see you next time.

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