Movie Review: “Gods of Egypt”

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Gerard Butler, Brenton Thwaites, Courtney Eaton, Chadwick Boseman, Elodie Yung, Geoffrey Rush, Rufus Sewell
Alex Proyas

You have to respect any studio daring enough to give director Alex Proyas – who hasn’t made a movie in over seven years – $140 million dollars to produce an adventure/fantasy film that isn’t based on a preexisting property. Unfortunately, that respect means very little when the money is wasted on a movie as hopelessly dumb as “Gods of Egypt,” though you could hardly say that the warning signs weren’t there, especially with a screenplay by the same hacks responsible for recent flops like “Dracula Untold” and “The Last Witch Hunter.” Credit to Proyas for attempting something this ambitious, but it doesn’t make the effects-heavy fantasy flick any less of a turkey.

The film takes place in ancient Egypt, where gods and mortals coexist under the leadership of King Osiris (Bryan Brown), the favored offspring of the sun god Ra (a strangely miscast Geoffrey Rush). But when it comes time to crown his son Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) as Egypt’s newest ruler, his jealous brother Set (Gerard Butler) stages a royal coup, killing Osiris and defeating Horus in battle. Set ultimately shows mercy to Horus by letting him live, but not before plucking out his magic eyes, which are the source of his god-like abilities. As Egypt is thrust into a slave-driven dictatorship, a young thief named Bek (Brenton Thwaites) decides to take action by stealing back one of Horus’ eyes and striking a deal with the self-exiled god. In exchange for its return, Bek demands that Horus resurrects his recently slain love (Courtney Eaton) before she reaches the afterlife, a seemingly impossible feat that Horus nevertheless agrees to in order to exact revenge on his murderous uncle.

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The Light from the TV Shows: “Game of Thrones” begins anew (and so does “The Killing”)

As we enter into the final quarter of the traditional broadcast TV season, where many of the mid-season entries are already beginning to wrap up their runs (“Alcatraz,” for example, aired its two-hour finale on Monday) and most of the series that kicked off way back in the fall are in that depressing twilight period just prior to their last run of new episodes before season’s end, many of your favorite premium cable programs are taking advantage of the semi-lull by coming back with a vengeance.

This past Sunday, of course, AMC brought us the return of “Mad Men,” which you probably already knew, since it managed to pull in 3.5 million viewers, a none-too-shabby increase of 21 percent over the series’ previous season premiere. This Sunday, the network has another series coming back, though it’s probably safe to presume that the numbers won’t be nearly as impressive for this one. But, look, if your excuse for not liking “The Killing” is that they didn’t resolve Rosie Larsen’s murder by the end of the season, go peddle your wares somewhere else, because I’m tired of hearing people whine about that. So what if it hasn’t been resolved yet? A show’s allowed to keep its viewers in suspense, isn’t it? If you didn’t like it because you thought it was boring, that’s one thing. If you’re really complaining because the producers promised “a very, very satisfying ending to Season 1” and reneged on that promise, though, I say that you may be well within your rights to be frustrated, but don’t say, “Ugh, they lied, therefore the show sucks,” because that’s just lame.

I do think AMC must be resigned to the return of “The Killing” being slaughtered both by the critics and in the ratings, however, since even though it’s coming back this Sunday night at 8 PM for a two-hour season premiere, the homepage of the network’s press resource center is still busy trumpeting last week’s return of “Mad Men.” For my part, while I do think the series dragged quite a bit in places and reached the point of ridiculousness with how many times Sarah Linden bailed on her planned departure (if I was Ray McDeere, I probably would’ve broken off my engagement to Sarah somewhere around Episode 1.3), I was perpetually gripped whenever Michelle Forbes and Brent Sexton were portraying parental grief, and I am steadfast in my disagreement with anyone who says that Episode 1.11 (“Missing”) was an unnecessary detour away from the case, because that may have been my favorite episode since the pilot. If you didn’t like that episode, you probably also watched “Twin Peaks” and complained about how they spent too much time focusing on Audrey Horne when they could’ve been figuring out who killed Laura Palmer…and I’m here to tell you that you can never spend too much time focusing on Audrey Horne.

Quick sidebar: if you didn’t watch “Twin Peaks,” this is Audrey Horne:

This concludes your moment of Sherilyn Fenn zen. We now return to our regularly scheduled column…provided we can all get our concentration back.

Oh, right, now I remember where I was…

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