“Gods of Egypt” Director Alex Proyas is as Ignorant About Critics as About Gods, Egypt, and How to Make a Good Movie

Posted on February 29, 2016 at 11:55 am

Aw, we hurt Alex Proyas’ feelings. His film, “Gods of Egypt,” is the first major failure of 2016, with a dismal 13% positive rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, a break-the-bank budget of $140 million and a total first week box office of just $14 million.

Proyas is unhappy about the “rampant stupidity” of critics. You can say a lot of things about critics, but the one thing you cannot say is what he tries to argue here — that we “have no personal taste or opinion, because they are basing their views on the status quo.” Trust me, Mr. Proyas, you only become a critic if you have nothing but personal taste and opinions, and you only become a professional critic if you can express them in a lively, engaging, and informative manner. Our reviews are written and published before the movie comes out, so, contrary to your speculation, we don’t wait to see what other people think. And we don’t try to guess what they want to hear from us beyond what they actually let us know they want to hear, which is our honest response to a film.

Proyas’ ignorance is particularly appalling when he mentions the late Roger Ebert as his good example. Of course he is right when he says, “His passion for film was contagious and he shared this with his fans. He loved films and his contribution to cinema as a result was positive.” But Ebert loved film so much he seemed to take it personally when a movie was terrible. He wrote books like I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie and A Horrible Experience of Unbearable Length: More Movies That Suck, compilations of his most excoriating reviews — and well worth reading.

Proyas says that critics give his movies bad reviews when they are released but then change their minds. I can say that I gave his film “Knowing” a D. I have not changed my mind. I do not expect that I or any other critic will ever decide that “Gods of Egypt” is anything but dreadful.  If he does not want bad reviews he has just one option: make better movies.

Copyright Lionsgate 2016
Copyright Lionsgate 2016

Some of the best comments from critics about “Gods of Egypt:”

William Bibbiani: Gods of Egypt takes bonkers ideas and whitewashes them into generalized mediocrity.

Peter Travers: Director Alex Proyas, who showed early visual promise with The Crow and Dark City, has clearly sold his soul to the gods of cheeseball computer-generated effects. No epic in recent times looks more pixalated or exerts more pain on the eyes.

Roxana Hadadi: The fantasy film ‘Gods of Egypt’ does practically everything wrong, from its whitewashed cast to its irredeemably goofy storyline. What a waste.

Katie Walsh: The movie most likely to be airbrushed onto the side of a van.

Justin Chang: This is by any measure a dreadful movie, a chintzy, CG-encrusted eyesore that oozes stupidity and self-indulgence from every pore.

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