Gods of Egypt bombed over the weekend, hard, and director Alex Proyas thinks it's all because of those pesky critics.
From the moment the first trailer for Gods of Egypt was released, anyone with half a brain could have predicted that it would be skewered by critics. Throwing away the cultural whitewashing allegations that the film was hit with before it even premiered, Gods of Egypt looked at best like a unintentionally hilarious B-movie and at worst like an Asylum-level knockoff of Clash of Titans, albeit with a far greater budget and noticeably worse CGI.
Given the box office failure of the similarly maligned Exodus: Kings and Gods, one could also surmise that the Gods of Egypt would fail to recoup its $140 million budget as well, so when the movie did inevitably bomb over the weekend -- recouping just $14 million and placing second to Deadpool -- it came as a shock to absolutely no one.
Except to Gods of Egypt director Alex Proyas, that is.
In a fiercely-worded statement posted to his Facebook page yesterday morning, Proyas lambasted the pack mentality of critics for being behind the movie's paltry earning, stating:
NOTHING CONFIRMS RAMPANT STUPIDITY FASTER... Than reading reviews of my own movies. I usually try to avoid the experience - but this one takes the cake. Often, to my great amusement, a critic will mention my past films in glowing terms, when at the time those same films were savaged, as if to highlight the critic's flawed belief of my descent into mediocrity. You see, my dear fellow FBookers, I have rarely gotten great reviews... on any of my movies, apart from those by reviewers who think for themselves and make up their own opinions. Sadly those type of reviewers are nearly all dead. Good reviews often come many years after the movie has opened. I guess I have the knack of rubbing reviewers the wrong way - always have. This time of course they have bigger axes to grind - they can rip into my movie while trying to make their mainly pale asses look so politically correct by screaming "white-wash!!!" like the deranged idiots they all are. They fail to understand, or chose to pretend to not understand what this movie is, so as to serve some bizarre consensus of opinion which has nothing to do with the movie at all. That's ok, this modern age of texting will probably make them go the way of the dinosaur or the newspaper shortly - don't movie-goers text their friends with what they thought of a movie? Seems most critics spend their time trying to work out what most people will want to hear. How do you do that? Why these days it is so easy... just surf the net to read other reviews or what bloggers are saying - no matter how misguided an opinion of a movie might be before it actually comes out.
Lock a critic in a room with a movie no one has even seen and they will not know what to make of it. Because contrary to what a critic should probably be they have no personal taste or opinion, because they are basing their views on the status quo. None of them are brave enough to say "well I like it" if it goes against consensus. Therefore they are less than worthless. Now that anyone can post their opinion about anything from a movie to a pair of shoes to a hamburger, what value do they have - nothing. Roger Ebert wasn't bad. He was a true film lover at least, a failed film-maker, which gave him a great deal of insight. 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. Now we have a pack of diseased vultures pecking at the bones of a dying carcass. Trying to peck to the rhythm of the consensus. I applaud any film-goer who values their own opinion enough to not base it on what the pack-mentality say is good or bad.
While it's understandable that any director would want to find a scapegoat on which to pin their own failures -- M. Night Shyamalan was once famously quoted as saying that The Last Airbender only bombed due to our lack of "European sensibilities" -- there is one major issue with Proyas' statement here.
By placing himself up on a cross and writing off the film's poor returns to the will of the almighty critics, Proyas is failing to even recognize where his story could have used improvement. In his review of the film, our own Matthew Parkinson noted Gods of Egypt's "unbelievably unoriginal" plot, childish dialogue, uninspired character arcs, and atrocious and excessive reliance on computer animation as the main reasons that the film was a "disaster." These are all criticisms that even the most neophytic of moviegoers could glean from the trailer above, wherein a gravely-voiced Gerard Butler declares that "Soon, we will rule all of the world" among other such cliches.
While it's hard to fault Proyas for believing in his product, it's even harder to pin the many, many problems of Gods of Egypt on the shoulders of the people who make their living consuming it. No critic is *that* powerful.