Sadly, The Revelation of the Pyramids falls apart after a rather intriguing first half hour, delivering nothing near a revolutionary conclusion nor an enjoyable documentary. Whilst wonderfully narrated by Brian Cox (the actor, not the Ken-doll lookalike scientist) the film fails to do what all good documentaries must: gently brush the ego and intelligence of the viewer, whilst hooking them in with an early bit of intrigue. Revelation does the complete opposite. At about the hour point we are hit with an endless barrage of increasingly complicated mathematical problems and solutions that are delivered at such speed that, quite frankly, they could be arguing that the Incredible Hulk built the pyramids for all the dramatic tension this section creates.
But that isn’t just it, no way. Because I’d let them off if Patrice Pooyard (the director and co-writer) did eventually provide us with an assumption-shattering conclusion. But, well, guess what? They don’t. In fact, I have in my notes the line, ‘If they end now I will be incredibly disappointed,’ (in more flowery language, I concede), moments before the credits rolled. It’s just simply poorly constructed, bizarrely argued and, at times, mind-numbingly boring. How on earth the pyramids could be reduced to this, I have no idea.The movie hinges on the bizarre structural and mathematical accuracy of the pyramids but, rather than praising the achievements of ancient man, the documentary’s conspiratorial tone from the offset begins to undermine even their own argument. Cox, who I genuinely feel sorry for, has to go through speaking such garbage as, ‘So amazing, so astonishing, that we have to wonder – was it even possible,’ whilst Pooyard shows a nicely shot scene of the great Pyramid at sunrise, proving that it was, of course, possible. There’s even a point where a hieroglyph is compared to Thunderbird 2.
It’s these internal issues that ruin the movie: the main argument is derived from the murky waters of Egyptology but their main-damn-argument is never-ever-never stated until right at the end of the documentary. There is no lead in. There is no dramatic build up. There is no reason to be interested. Sitting through an hour and a half of mathematical mumbo-jumbo before we are hit over the head with the, frankly absurd, conclusion is not why documentaries exist. They are not created for the director to show us how familiar he is with π or the golden number, without, I should add, ever explaining either. Luckily, I knew what they were, but my viewing partner did not. By the time the film ended I felt like I was watching a documentary made by Dan Brown rather than anything that could lay claim to a place in the world of fact.
No – let’s stay on that tract. Dan Brown writes cheap, easily accessible conspiracy novels, often concerning major historical landmarks. They include the occult, misrepresentation, hints of the otherworldly, terrible writing, crazy mathematical coincidences, and conclude by saying that someone in the past had such an important message to relay that they hid it within endless spirals of complete nonsense that no one with their head screwed on could possibly decipher … See where I’m going with this?