He loves gold and tall buildings
Gods of Egypt is the closest thing I've seen to a gold-plated movie. Every part of it is shiny and opulent, like the sets and costumes were designed by the dudes from Pimp My Ride. This photo could've been taken on the set.
Much like in the election, cash rules everything around Egypt. One of Set's first moves as a ruler of Egypt is to change the rules of how you can get into the afterlife. While under Osiris mortals could get into heaven if they performed good deeds, Set makes it so you need to pay in gold. And, like Trump, he's obsessed with big buildings. Looking outside his window at a giant tower, Butler asks his master builder, "Can you make it any taller?"
Obviously, this guy needs to read The Art of the Deal.
He has daddy issues
There's a lot of weird crap that happens in Gods of Egypt. I haven't even mentioned the thief named Bek (not Beck, sadly) played by Brenton Thwaites, the campy performance from Get On Up's Chadwick Boseman as the god of knowledge Thoth, or the part where two female goddesses (Abbey Lee and Yaya Deng) ride fire-breathing snakes. All of this happens. None of it makes sense.
But even those goofy moments can't hold a flickering CGI candle to Geoffrey Rush's hammy take on Ra, the father of Butler's bad boy Set. Having served time in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Rush is no stranger to silly costumes, swashbuckling action, and paragraphs of expository dialogue. But his performance here is something I've never seen before: he looks like the flame emjoi brought to life. And, oh yeah, he navigates a giant spaceship boat that tows the sun and he does battle every night with a giant black cloud demon that threatens to destroy the universe. I think? It's all pretty confusing.
Encased in bright orange CGI fire, Rush needles Set for his selfishness. Like Trump, whose father was real estate developer Fred Trump, Set is no self-made God who pulled himself up by his gold-plated bootstraps. Everything he does is an attempt to escape from his father's flaming shadow.
But you can't look away
This movie isn't good. I can't in good conscience recommend it -- and I go to bat for Jupiter Ascending. But there's something gonzo and invigorating about the whole thing, particularly Butler's sneering, buffoonish performance. Studio executives have long tried to trick the American public into thinking Gerard Butler is charming, likable, and should be in movies with Katherine Heigl. He's none of those things. But as a Trump-like god who takes pleasure in the misery of others? He's perfect.
And the best part? None of it's real.
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Dan Jackson is a staff writer at Thrillist Entertainment and he still likes Dark City. He's on Twitter: @danielvjackson.