- Directed by Alex Proyas
- February 25, 2016 (Australia) / February 26, 2016 (US)
The deposed god king Horus partners with a mortal Egyptian thief on a quest to rescue his love from the underworld and to save Egypt from the vengeful deity Set.
Casting issues (to some) aside, as fantasy action films go Gods of Egypt is pretty good. It uses the Egyptian pantheon and other aspects of that mythology to build its narrative around. I always found ancient Egyptian mythology much more intriguing. There is so much more potential for strangeness than the usual go to of Greek mythology. Aside from a few instances, movie studios have been unwilling to use it in film.
Our hero Bek (Brenton Thwaites) seems modeled off of Aladdin. Charming and cocky and in love with a beautiful girl that is essentially out of his reach for much of the story until he realizes there are other things he must worry about beyond his romantic desires. That sounds like Aladdin to me.
In this fictionalized Egypt, Bek is about as close as you can come to an atheist in a world where gods walk among men. He doesn’t particularly care for them but when Urshu (Rufus Sewell), Set’s (Gerard Butler) architect, kills Bek’s love Zaya (Courtney Eaton) he comes up with a rather bold plan to use the dethroned god Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) to get his girlfriend back.
Gerard Butler plays great villains. He also plays great heroes. He can supply every character with a touch of asshole. But it’s a touch of asshole that you can like. And you’re just kind of cheering for Gerard Butler to win. He may want to destroy the world be he makes it so entertaining while doing it.
Gods of Egypt is a fun action-adventure fantasy film. We get plenty of cool visuals and the heroes do go through an arc. Both of them. Horus actually embraces the values he was taught rather than just going through the motions. Bek learns responsibility and dare I say he embraces religion by the end.
And the action is just amazing. And it is coupled with great imagery. While the concluding battle is just a battle just to destroy the bad guy, it is an epic fight. We have gods doing battle and mortals doing battle and the shadow beast Apophis (not Peter Williams) consuming the Nile. The cost of losing is the destruction of existence itself.
There is a lot of green screen used in this film. Considering all they did there’s no other way to accomplish it other than using CGI. At least some elements. Others could’ve been done with physical sets. Watching this a few years later the CGI has not aged that well which is really unfortunate because the story is fun and interesting.
The worst of the CGI are the battle forms of the various gods. Anybody here ever see the show Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future? There they have these things called Bio-Dreads which were done through very early computer graphics. They didn’t look that good then and they look even worse now. The battle forms look just like them. Ugh!
That doesn’t mean this film is bad. It just means that as time marches on it’s not going to look as good now as it did then. That’s unfortunate because in total despite any issues that I or others may have it’s an entertaining film. It’s got some witty dialogue and entertaining scenes. It is solidly directed and just well crafted.
Gods of Egypt is a better than it should be movie. It’s a great action-adventure film with witty moments, great scenes, and good concepts set in a fantastic story. If you come across this, I say check it out. It might even be worth looking up on your own.