GODS OF EGYPT "I am! Gettin' so hot! I wannna take my cloooooothes off!"

GODS OF EGYPT is about as historically accurate as Disney's Aladdin. The Earth is flat, mortals and deities live side-by-side, and everyone is fucking white (save moon god Thoth, played by Chadwick Boseman, an actor best known for his portrayal of James Brown in 2014's Get On Up). Before it was even released, Gods of Egypt was lambasted by pretty much everyone for its lack of ethnic diversity—a reasonable critique, even for a film that portends to exist in an imaginary reality. In 2016, making a movie with "Egypt" in the title that boasts pasty Anglo-Saxon leads is ignorant at best and defiant Hollywood white-washing at worst. Unfortunately, that's just one of the film's many flaws.

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Five minutes into Gods of Egypt and with minimal exposition, Horus (Game of Thrones' Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his estranged uncle Set (Gerard Butler) have transformed into rejected Mortal Kombat characters and are kicking the shit out of each other. Set banishes Horus and usurps Egypt's kingship, immediately harnessing the labor of its citizens for the construction of a monument to sun god Ra (Geoffrey Rush), an act he believes will grant him eternal life. Meanwhile, Horus teams up with mortal twerp Bek (Brenton Thwaites) to reclaim his powers and the crown—and from there, the story is an abstruse haze, taking a backseat to no-holds-barred action scenes that employ a variety of passé action clichés: bullet time, primeval CGI, and painful one-liners. (I realize this isn't Ken Burns' Egypt, but it's pretty hard to imagine someone in 3,000 BC saying shit that amounts to "boo-yah!")

Save Rush's performance as Ra—which provides some of the only moments of levity and humanity in an otherwise cadaverous script—Gods of Egypt is a flop of historic proportions, the sort of movie that in 10 years' time will appear on the same lists as Glitter and Highlander 2. It's not good, and it's not even bad good. Did I mention there's a spaceship?

SLAY Film Fest
In person at the Clinton St. Theater 10/29 & 10/30