Gods of Egypt
August 3, 2016
So I caught up on this recent sword-and-sandals flick starring the guy who plays Jaime on Game of Thrones and Gerard Butler with his Scottish accent. It got a lot of flack when it came out for borrowing a lot of Egyptian mythology without actually bothering to learn anything about Egyptian culture and casting all white people. And then the director threw a tantrum about the criticism, which made me sad because it’s the same guy who directed The Crow and Dark City, which is one of my favorite movies, and he should really know better.
The whitewashing was not as bad as I was expecting — not as bad as Noah, for example, which did not have a single person of color in the entire thing, not even in crowd scenes, which it seems to me you’d have to really work at. On the other hand, it turns out to be pretty striking when you’ve set a movie in Egypt, cast white actors in the leading roles and then populated many of the secondary, red shirt, and exotic love-interest roles with actors of color. It’s like, obvious. I’ll go back to The Force Awakens as at least a start of how to do things right: variety in lead actors/characters is the goal, here. Something different, something inclusive. It’s not hard.
BUT HOW IS THE MOVIE, CARRIE?
It’s strange. It’s just completely strange. Because there were parts that were really totally endearing. (Scarab beetle chariot!) The whole thing was actually goofy, and seemed to be goofy on purpose. A little weird, having a Horus who in full god mode looked like a proof-of-concept for a live-action Silverhawks movie. (Dear Hollywood: please never do a live-action Silverhawks movie.) It went on maybe forty minutes too long. And I think I would have liked the whole movie better without that mortal kid hero guy thing. God, he annoyed the hell out of me.
But now I want to write a story about a bunch of gods just, like, doing stuff. I dunno what. I’ll figure that out later.