No doubt some of my readers would love to see Jamie Lannister throw down with Leonidas. This movie will make your dreams come true. As long as that dream included a heavy focus on that kid from The Giver because hey, young adult films are a trend these days.
Gods of Egypt tells of the battle between Horus and Set and the one mortal who dared interfere. Is it absolutely divine or a product of the god of chaos? Well, let’s take a look at the trailer and find out.
So who stars in this movie? Brenton Thwaites of The Giver is the mortal hero Bek, and his girlfriend Zaya is played by Courtney Eaton of Mad Max: Fury Road. The god Horus is played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau of Game of Thrones, and his enemy Set is played by Gerard Butler of 300. Other gods include Chadwick Boseman of 42 as Thoth, Elodie Yung of G.I. Joe: Retaliation as Hathor, and Geoffrey Rush of The Book Thief as Ra.
The director is Alex Proyas, whose previous projects include I Robot, The Crow, and Knowing. The man’s had some experience bringing us big action, but those films have gotten a pretty mixed reception (Rotten Tomatoes rates those movies at 58%, 82%, and 33% respectively). Only the trailer can tell us on which side of that range this movie will fall.
The trailer begins by telling us it’s been ages since the gods were around. That’s always the way it is with gods: they hang out with you, then they start dating other gods, and then you never see them again. Set and Horus get into a big fight and turn into Egyptian Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, but Set ultimately wins. See, the big guy wants Horus’s throne, but instead of killing the god, he plucks out his eyes and leaves him alive. Because that worked so well for the Philistines when they did that to Samson.
Under Set’s rule, all the Egyptians are enslaved and put to work on construction projects, probably including rebuilding that pyramid that just dissolved. Bek’s girlfriend tells him only Horus can save them, “but not without his eyes,” which when outside his head are big blue gems because that’s how god-eyes work, I guess. Bek says only a madman would steal those eyes from Set, and as intimidating as the guy looks in full battle mode, I’d have to agree. “Where do you suppose we could find someone so mad?” Bek’s girlfriend asks, and Bek looks justly shocked. After all, this is even crazier than the time she talked you into climbing that obelisk and making out on the top.
But Bek goes through with it anyway, outrunning a collapsing floor to snatch the Eye of Horus (and probably falling to his death since he’s got nowhere to land.) Horus repays his kindness by picking him up by the throat, and we get a size comparison that tells us humans are hobbit-sized compared to the gods. Set brags to his lady-friend how he’ll soon rule all the world (of course!), and Horus pops his eye back in, meaning he can see but still gets to keep a cool eye patch. “Try to keep up,” he tells Bek. Was that a crack about his short human legs? That’s racist!
Hathor tells them what Set has in store for them: an army of gods, beasts, and demons on whom he makes it rain gold. “You will bring them reckoning!” the god of chaos tells his army. And while Gerard Butler is gruff-yelling, THIS. IS. EGYPT! We see a giant sphinx attack, demons carry away Bek’s girlfriend, Horus fights Set’s warriors, and Bek jumps off a waterfall. “Bow before me or die,” Set demands. “I won’t make that mistake,” Horus replies. Which mistake, bowing or dying? Because I think dying is a little more than a mistake, man.
We get a crazy action montage of gods and armies fighting, ending in a sky full of teeth descending on our heroes. Horus and Bek take a breather, only to be attacked by Set’s hunters riding giant fire-breathing cobras. “Run!” Bek says. “We mortals do it all the time!” Well, that’s an unfair generalization. We don’t all run in the face of danger. Unless that danger is dynamite rabbits. Or killer okapi. And the trailer ends with the two running from these monstrous snakes. If only we had a giant mongoose or an enormous shovel with which to chop off their heads, we’d be in business.
So based on the trailer, do I recommend this movie? Not really, no. It’s got some good actors in it and a decent director behind it, but nothing about the story we’ve been told stands out from any other movie. It’s a CGI action fest that doesn’t give any clear idea of what’s going on, only the done-to-death premise that this good-looking teenage hero has to save the world from a bad guy who’s bad because reasons. If the movie offers any more than that, it hasn’t shown up in the trailer, so even though I love the time period of Ancient Egypt, I’ll probably be skipping this film.
Besides, there’s only one God, ma’am, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that.
Gods of Egypt is owned by Summit Entertainment.