Gods of Egypt

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The fact that almost every actor in “Gods of Egypt” is from northern Europe rather than Egypt (or even the general region) has raised eyebrows, but that’s the least of the film’s problems. Maybe the apology from Lionsgate a few months back for the casting was to distract us from what they should really be apologizing for, i.e., the movie.

Directed by the once-promising Alex Proyas (“Dark City,” “I, Robot”) and written by the guys behind “Dracula Untold” and “The Last Witch Hunter” — these are red flags, people — “Gods of Egypt” is a dopey fantasy adventure set in ancient times, when the gods (Egyptian ones, anyway) lived among mortals. You can tell them apart, though, because the gods are 9 or 10 feet tall and have gold in their veins instead of blood. Although I guess that second part wouldn’t be obvious at first.

Anyway, the god-king Osiris (Bryan Brown) is retiring and handing things off to his son, Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), when his brother, Set (Gerard Butler), shows up uninvited, kills Osiris, and takes the throne. Set also plucks his nephew Horus’ eyes out and puts them in a vault. Without his eyes, Horus cannot transform or fly, because of reasons. He ends up working with a mortal, Aladdin-esque street urchin named Bek (Brenton Thwaites) to retrieve his eyes, defeat Set, and rescue Bek’s recently deceased girlfriend (Courtney Eaton) from the afterworld.

Grandpa Ra the sun god (Geoffrey Rush) is also involved, kind of, but not really, living on a platform in space (as one does).

The movie is loaded with special effects, yet looks like it didn’t have the budget to make them convincing. Yet it looks expensive, too. Somehow it looks cheap and expensive at the same time, with careless dialogue, an overstuffed plot, and little sense of drama or excitement. And unfortunately, except for a few scenes, it’s not outlandish enough to be entertaining as a disaster, either, as the performances are generally reined-in (dull, even). Actual Egyptians should be relieved that this plague passed over them.

P.S. At the end, Horus realizes he didn’t need his eyes to fly, he just had to believe in himself. Exactly the same as “Dumbo.”

D (2 hrs., 7 min.; PG-13, a lot of fantasy action and violence, a bit of mild sexuality.)