If you don’t care for the biographical sports comedy, “Eddie the Eagle,” (which I highly recommend), then there are other movies to see this weekend at the box office -- but unfortunately not ones that you’ll be raving about in a good way.
For starters, “Triple 9” is a dirty cop drama/thriller that takes place in Atlanta and involves a group of crooked cops and ex-special forces who team up to perform various heists for the Russian mafia. With a star-studded cast made up of Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Anthony Mackie, Aaron Paul, Norman Reedus, Woody Harrelson, Kate Winslet, Clifton Collins, Jr., Michael K. Williams, Luis Da Silva, Teresa Palmer and Gal Gadot, nothing could go wrong, could it? At least, that’s what I thought before I saw it.
“Triple 9” may include a cast worthy of maybe even a great film and feature exciting, adrenaline rush-type action, but the narrative is all wrong and the characters are underutilized. The story is murky, unfocused, and simply doesn’t live up to the cast and action. It starts out slow and a bit confusing. Even now, days later, I still can’t figure out how some scenes fit into the plot. It may have an attractive cast and appealing action, but for me, it’s nothing more than a less-than-average genre piece with something missing.
Regarding “Gods of Egypt,” I don’t even know where to begin. To say that this film is over-the-top and absurd in many ways would be an understatement. In line with our culture’s apparent fascination with Egypt and similar to the content in films like “The Mummy” (which I enjoyed), this film tells an fairly uninteresting story about various Egyptian deities fighting over the Egyptian empire. The film features performances from Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Brenton Thwaites, Chadwich Boseman, Elodie Yung, Rufus Sewell, Geoffrey Rush, and Gerard Butler.
When the Egyptian god, Horus (Coster-Waldau), is about to take over the throne, his uncle Set (Butler), the god of darkness, intervenes and steals it from him. To regain power, Horus teams up with a mortal named Bek (Thwaites), who helps him on his mission to save the world, so Bek can rescue his love, Zaya (Courtney Eaton), who has been sent to the afterlife.
My only hope is that this film is meant for younger audiences, as it falls shorter than even “Triple 9” for a viewer such as myself. It’s chock full of cheesy moments and weak dialogue, is roughly 99% special effects, and has a plot that not even someone interested in gods or Egypt could enjoy. Albeit if you're into computer-generated effects at every turn and an experience that requires you to sit back and simply take it all in without much thinking required, then perhaps this film is for you.
I suppose I should applaud the filmmakers for having the guts to go all in on a movie that creates a unique experience for fantasy junkies. It’s as if a group of inexperienced kids sat around with no regard for budget or quality, and simply said “do this” and “do that next,” until they had a movie. I can only imagine viewing this film at a much younger age and being in awe of the effects and scale of the film. It’s likely the kind of feature that kids will be running around mimicking in their playtime, like a “Transformers” meets “Clash of the Titans.” For me however, I’ll take a squandered crime thriller any day.
Triple 9: Rated 2 out of 5 stars
Gods of Egypt: Rated 1 out of 5 stars
(Or you could check out "Eddie the Eagle," to which I gave 4 stars!)