Gods of Egypt
The Gods walk among us in the new film Gods of Egypt. Check out our official review to find out if Gods of Egypt is worth seeing in theaters!
Gods of Egypt takes place in ancient Egyptian mythology. In a time when Gods lived among mortals and mortals worshipped them like kings. It all begins with a glorious coronation ceremony, with the benevolent God Osiris (Bryan Brown) giving up his throne to his only son Horus (Nikolaj-Coster Waldau). All the Gods and mortals are in attendance to witness the joyful event. All except for Osiris’ brother Set (Gerard Butler) who appears late and with a fiendish plan to take the throne. After a whirlwind fight, Horus is defeated, Set rises to power, and it’s up to a young mortal, named Bek (Brenton Thwaites), to help the defeated God of Air rise back up and take down the power-hungry God.
The movie takes elements from ancient Egyptian mythology and puts a Clash of the Titans meets Game of Thrones twist on it. That tag alone would get anyone excited for this movie. On the contrary, it is merely the themes that bring on that twist. All the Gods clashing, giant fantastic beasts, and mortals helping with the cause. That’s Clash of the Titans. The battle for power with the killing of major, important family members, that’s Game of Thrones. Outside of that, Gods of Egypt is not nearly as good as either of those two products.
The biggest part of any action-mythology movie is the CGI battle sequences. It’s not so much about story or dialogue as much as it is the prospect of seeing giant, ancient creatures battle each other in an epic fight for world domination. That being said, the CGI is decent, at best. The fights are the best parts, and that’s clearly what they were going for. The biggest problem I had was when they tried to make the Gods bigger than the mortals. They were going for making them look powerful, in comparison. However, what they ended up accomplishing was an awkward, jarring experience. At one point, they had Bek and Hathor (Elodie Yung) walking side by side through a swamp, as they looked for Thoth (Chadwick Boseman). Being the mortal, Bek looks normal walking next to the strange looking giant-headed goddess. It was like someone zoomed in on their normal bodies way too much. It wasn’t flattering for any of them.
When it comes to performance, Gods of Egypt is carried by the amazing talents of Gerard Butler. He seems at home in these types of films. Then again, he seems at home in most. His performance makes the movie bearable. His co-star, Nikolaj-Coster Waldau was extremely reminiscent of Jamie Lannister in Game of Thrones. Horus starts off as a party boy who likes to hunt. Then, after he loses his power and a body part he goes on an epic journey that ultimately humbles him. I’m almost certain I saw this a few years ago during season 2 of Game of Thrones. Brenton Thwaites was a surprisingly refreshing addition to the film. He brought a lot of energy and humor to Gods of Egypt. Although, my biggest problem with his performance is that he isn’t believable when he’s angry or sad. Someone close to him dies in his arms, and instead of getting upset he just moves on with a plan to save that person. It just wasn’t believable. He kept droning on about them, but at the end of the day, I wasn’t completely sold that that’s entirely where his mind was. Elodie Yung as the Goddess of Love, Hathor, was actually pretty great. She brought in a much needed element of range as she was fiery, seductive, funny, and smart.
The one performance I enjoyed the least was Chadwick Boseman’s. He plays the character Thoth the Wise, a God who prides himself on knowing all and experiencing everything. Instead of wise, we get an annoying know-it-all who brings nothing to the plot. They could’ve left his whole character out and the movie wouldn’t have missed him. Furthermore, they say that Thoth is Horus’ teacher and that Thoth had seen the start of creation. Yet, he looks like he’s 25 and surrounded by Gods who look in their mid to late 30s and aging. It’s just not believable. Then, he talks about how he’s only catalogued 47% of the world’s knowledge. You mean to tell the audience that you’ve been around since creation and you’ve only done that much? What have you, and all the clones you have, been doing all this time? That’s less of a shot at Chadwick Boseman as it is a testament to how bad the writing was for Gods of Egypt.
There are a lot of stories in Egyptian mythology and there’s a strong chance that most of the public doesn’t know much about it. So, the fact that Gods of Egypt’s writing team fails to explain everything is disappointing. Midway through the movie we find out Set has a wife. That’s surprising since we saw him in bed with Hathor about 20 minutes ago. Plus, when we first see Ra, we find out that the world is apparently flat. I had no idea it was going in that direction until I saw that part. Although, the lack of dialogue and informative writing does spur the need to brush up on my Egyptian mythology, if only to understand what all they were trying to show in Gods of Egypt.
While most of this review has been about how bad Gods of Egypt is, I do have to say that it has a lot of intriguing elements to it. The mythology nerd in me was overjoyed to get to see the Underworld and the journey the dead had to walk with Anubis. Plus, getting to see Ra (Geoffrey Rush) in his floating space boat, fighting off Apolphis was pretty cool. Although, I kind of expected more from the mighty Ra than a man being a glorified Captain Ahab, fighting off his Moby Dick.
That being said, the cool parts just don’t outweigh how flawed this movie is. It’s not a movie I would advise any of our readers to see in theaters. Although, if you must see it in theaters, don’t expect anything that will blow you away. Keep expectations very low. Like Wrath of the Titans low and you will be pleasantly surprised. Otherwise, wait until HBO shows it and watch it then.