Box Office Failures Week: Gods of Egypt (2016)

Remember Alex Proyas? He directed The Crow and the promise of that movie led to chance after chance, with films like I, Robot and Knowing baffling folks and still making money. He also made Dark City, a movie that I’m still kind of shocked emerged out of Hollywood. And in trivia that only my pal R. D Francis would care about, he also directed Crowded House’s video for “Don’t Dream It’s Over.”

Way back in 2016, before cancel culture became a thing, I remember sitting in the theater and seeing the trailer for this movie and saying, “Oh no.” Even back then, in the unenlightened world of five years ago, people realized that all white people playing Egyptians was just plain wrong.

This movie would have been eviscerated today.

Gods of Egypt grossed $31.2 million in North America — and $119.6 million in other countries — for a total of $150.7 million against the $140 million it cost to make the film. But when you throw in the marketing, the studio lost around $90 million and their dreams of making this a franchise.

So let me try and make sense of this movie, which looks like it’s a SyFy Original more than a movie that cost more money than my entire bloodline has ever and will ever earn.

Bryan Brown plays Osiris and before you can say, “I loved you in F/X!,” he’s killed by his brother Set, who is played by Gerard Butler, who was once a thing. Remember when he was going to be Snake Plissken? Yeah. Me too.

A thief named Bek is given the plans for Set’s pyramid by his lover Zaya and this is where I really lost any sembleance of caring about this movie. But let’s try. Bek steals of our Horus’ eyes, his lover is killed and he gets to bring her back to life by giving the god back his eyeball. Who wrote Egyptian mythlogy, Lucio Fulci?

Nearly every god is either Austalian or British, kind of like Nazis usually are in other movies. Like Geoffrey Rush plays Ra. At least one African-American person, Chadwick Boseman, shows up and the Hollywood Illuminati was probably like, “Please be in this horrible movie and we promise, some day you can be Black Panther.”

I’m sure there were dreams that kids would someday scream, “I want to be Bek for Halloween!” But it was not to be. Not even a $10 million dollar Australian tax credit could make anyone feel good about this movie.

This is a movie that feels fifty years old, with none of the great Ray Harryhausen effects or Lawrence Olivier yelling things to make you feel better. I’m still kind of shocked that this movie is only four years old, because it truly feels like it came from another planet, a world of glossy metallic CGI and a yearning to be better than Prince of Persia.

Even the logo sucks.

Proyas would later do what all great directors do, turn to Facebook, where he ccused critics who usually hate his films of having an axe to grind with him and using claims of white-washing to do exactly that before calling those who dared critique his film “diseased vultures pecking at the bones of a dying carcass…trying to peck to the rhythm of the consensus. I applaud any film-goer who values their own opinion enough to not base it on what the pack-mentality says is good or bad.”

I value my own opinion just fine. And if it looks like a turd and walks like a turd and smells like a turd, guess what?

It’s a turd.

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