It’s really bad. Really, really bad. Like, not the “lemme go watch it to see just how bad it is” bad. I made that mistake. It’s worse than that.
The kicker is, it could’ve been a stellar trilogy of films, and I mean it. If there was a different director at the helm. And a different assortment of writers. And a different cast. And a different team of CGI artists. Frankly, the costume designers could stay but that’s about it.
Issues abound, so let’s dig into the very first one: the pacing is wonky as piss. There are just too many events in this movie that rely on too many conveniences to get you from one scene to the next. For example: main mortal kid steals dress off a hook in one shot. Next shot? He’s back home safe with the dress even though the shopkeeper saw him and was about to give chase. Or, main kid hops aboard escape chariot to begin big chase sequence. Next shot? They’re safe outside the city on the chariot. OR, main kid needs to infiltrate secrete tomb so he jumps in a caravan. Next shot? Sliding inside secret tomb without a fuss. It’s like they said “here’s point A and point B, now let’s LITERALLY SKIP everything in the middle that gives getting to point B stakes for sake of time.” I’ve never seen this done before. This is the one mistake I never thought I’d see in a Hollywood movie. I was wrong.
Even when it’s not cutting past LOGICAL audience-engagement sequences, it’s randomly handing out plot conveniences for non-set piece events. Like, the whole movie Horus is looking for his second eye. Cool. Set just randomly has it on him for the final fight (he got it from literally nowhere). Or, main character (Beck) decides he’s going to steal some shit from Set. The very next line of dialogue from his girlfriend is “Oh, I just happen to have a map that can get you inside that very specific place you just expressed a desire to infiltrate.” Then he gets there, and magically solves every puzzle instantaneously even though they’re designed to be impenetrable. A petty shop thief can beat the engineering of a master tomb builder. Jesus Christ. The sheer amount of conveniences in this plot make Avengers: AoU and Star Wars: TFA look like Oscar-worthy screenplays. Gods of Egypt is a new tier of lazy.
But again, all these things were done in interest of shaving down time so the overflowing pool of nonsensical scenes could all be compiled into a two-hour CGI machine. If they’d bothered to divide them into three separate screenplays (and I could honestly pick out the logical stopping points/cliffhangers for each while I was watching this shit), it would A.) allow them to address and expand on characters, plot points and stakes so that we’d have an actual story on our hands, B.) reduce the CGI expenditures per movie so that we wouldn’t have the schlock in this movie that ranges from okay to absolutely abysmal, and C.) have three profitable movies because of reasons A and B. Let’s discuss B, shall we?
Okay, so the story and characters are one-dimensional, convenience-ridden trash. But good action can go a long way in a movie like this, so surely the CGI gods fighting each other will liven things up, right? No. The CGI, at times, HONESTLY looks worse than PS4 games like The Order: 1886. I mean that. This is the first time I’ve seen a Hollywood movie with CGI that is actively worse than a video game’s in-engine gameplay visuals. Now, one or two scenes in the movie actually look great, like the snake one from the trailers. But considering 99% of the movie rests on CGI, that means about 3% is solid. And with a $140 million dollar budget, how?!
Oh, that’s right, because they had to pay Gerard Butler to spout unbearably cheesy villain dialogue in an IRISH ACCENT IN EGYPT. Get the fuck out of here. Besides Game of Thrones guy Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (the only saving grace of this entire thing besides expert costume designs), the entire cast should really reassess their career goals. Honestly, I don’t care if an “Egyptian” setting is cast with white guys. I just care if they can act. Exodus was great because everyone TRIED in that movie. This… this is the whitest thing (in terms of skin color, in terms of shit dialogue, in terms of respect for the source material) I’ve ever seen and it should never have been. This isn’t me being an SJW, as their whining is one-dimensional drivel. I’m trying to say that this is white in the sense that it shits on an awesome culture with lore that could’ve amounted to such a better movie.
I’m just sad, ultimately, that Alex Proyas can churn out something like this and not reflect on himself with honesty. Instead, he bashes critics for being sheeple. Well, Alex, I’m not one of those critics. I loved Fantastic 4 for crying out loud, and not in the guilty-pleasure way. I have no problem voicing my own opinion against a sea of naysayers. But your movie from my perspective, that of a lover of good cinema, is utter, abysmal garbage. At no point during the development of this could anyone justify the shit being put on display. Not a single scene could even look good taken out of context. THAT is the ultimate mark of a bad film. Of a disrespect to the art form.
TL;DR: Ra the Sun God looks like a scratched VHS copy of The Phantom Menace‘s worst CGI scenes.