Gods of Egypt

It’s difficult to fathom that Alex Proyas, the director who gave us Dark City and The Crow, is the same director responsible for I, Robot and Gods of Egypt, but sure enough, he is. If the first two films were dark and foreboding, and I, Robot was a perfect visual effects popcorn movie, then Gods of Egypt is…what, exactly? Well, let’s say it’s a big special-effects movie, and that’s it. It certainly has Proyas’s style all over it, but it’s hollow inside.

The story follows the mortal hero Bek (Brenton Thwaites) as he allies with defeated (and blinded) god Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) in order to topple the cruel god of darkness, Set (Gerard Butler). A number of battles against mythical beasts, journeys through dangerous terrain, and even jaunts to the Egyptian afterworld and visits with the god of creation himself, Ra (Geoffrey Rush), are meant to give Gods the feel of a mythological journey of self-discovery. But the hammy acting, some lame dialogue, and the obvious outcome of the story leave it feeling more cartoonish than epic.

916egypt.box.jpgGods of Egypt is a digital production shot at 6K on the Red Epic Dragon with a 2K DI that arrives on Blu-ray in an AVC 1080p encode and Blu-ray 3D in a MVC 1080p encode from Lionsgate. The colors are brilliant in the sparkling “Planet Egypt” world, and no hints of digital anomalies outside the faintest color banding in the skies can be spotted. The 3D has only a mild sense of dimensionality and occasionally looks like it was made with cardboard cutouts.

Gods gets a DTS:X audio track that will play back as DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 on non-DTS:X systems. The DTS:X mix is an exciting one that has a tightly balanced, 360-degree soundfield, a big, resounding low end, and many solid effects in the surround and back channels. The extra “X” channels, let’s call them, add more spaciousness and place some expanded sounds farther above you during the numerous high-flying action sequences.

In addition to loading this set up with the Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD, plus iTunes and UltraViolet Digital Copies, Lionsgate has included a few HD featurettes, mostly highlighting executive producer Kent Kubena. None comes in at over 12 minutes, and each has a too-slick, promotional feel; but if you want a little extra glimpse at a few of the stars in brief interview snippets, then take a look. I recommend “A Divine Vision: Creating a Cinematic Action Fantasy” and “A Window Into Another World: Visual Effects.”

Studio: LIonsgate, 2016
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio Format: DTS:X (DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 core)
Length: 126 mins.
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Alex Proyas
Starring: Brenton Thwaites, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Courtney Eaton