We recently watched Gods of Egypt, a big budget film that was certainly not a blockbuster upon release.
This fantasy adventure had us intrigued as was from director, Alex Proyas who had given us The Crow; Dark City, I,Robot and his last film of 7 years ago, Knowing, all of which we enjoyed, so despite despite it’s flop status, we decided to give it a go.
In an alternate Egypt, gods live amongst humans, they are easily recognised as they are of a much greater height, almost giant like ,and have the ability to transform into their animal gods.
Osiris (Bryan Brown) has called for a coronation of his son Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). Horus is honoured by this and seems ready to propose to his partner, Hathor (Elodie Yung)
We follow the ceremony through 2 mortals; Bek (Brenton Thwaites) and his girlfriend Zaya (Courtney Eaton). We learn that Bek is a thief and not a fan of the gods, believing they show little responsibility towards the humas, Zaya disagrees and believes the gods may make mistakes but do have their interests at heart.
At the ceremony, the coronation is halted by the return of Osiris other son, Set (Gerard Butler) who is furious to have not been chosen and takes the throne by force killing his father, and removing the eyes from Horus, which are the source of his power. He is a tyrant on the throne sending all in Egypt into slavery to build him monuments.
A year later, we learn that Bek is now one of the many slaves building monuments, whilst Zaya is working for Set’s architect Urshu (Rufus Sewell). The 2 come up with a plan where they believe a returning Horus will bring order again to Egypt.
Zaya finds Urshu’s plans for the vault where Set keeps the taken eyes, and with this information, Bek, avoiding the many traps set out will retrieve them and get them to Horus.
The theft does not go to plan, Bek can only retrieve one of the eyes! Worst still, Urshu finds out of the break in & kills Zaya when she tries to escape with Bek.
Bek finds Horus, who agrees in return for his eye, he will bring Zaya back from the dead.
What follows is their quest to defeat Set, which will see them visit Ra (a scene stealing Geoffrey Rush) on his divine vessel about earth, where he spends his time defending the planet from the large beast Apophis.
Set meanwhile is continuing his obsession with power by taking many gods other powers, including a Brain, a Heart and wings from another. He then kills Ra using his powers to consume both the mortal and underworld realms.
With the help of Thoth, the god of wisdom (Chadwick Boseman) to defeat the riddles of the sphinx and gain access to Set’s pyramid to face a final confrontation and overturn his power and free the humans of their life of slavery.
Now growing up, we used to love these fantasy adventure type films, from Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger and Jason and the Argonauts to lower budget films such as Beastmaster and Hawk the Slayer. These films all used to be fun and have character, with great creatures from the likes of Ray Harryhausen. One of those films in particular was the 1981 film Clash of the Titans.
Recently remade and even getting a sequel, Wrath of the Titans, like Gods of Egypt, the film feels far too reliant on CGI. The actors maybe good but they now play second fiddle to the special effects that can now be created at a computer.
It is a shame that like those Titans films, a story of gods fighting for humans should be great but this film is just unremarkable, it doesn’t drag, it has a good story but it doesn’t leave you wowed as those earlier films did and we in part, feel this is down to how the visuals and effects make them look now and not just our nostalgia or memories.
We are sure a Harryhausen transformed god would be better than the Power Rangers/Transformers CGI efforts the gods turn into in this!
If you enjoyed those Titans films, you will enjoy this but for us it was just an acceptable watch, it can feel like a big budget B movie at times, especially with some of the dialogue, but it is harmless enough, just don’t expect to have it remain in your memory for long!
You can view the Gods of Egypt trailer here:
You can buy the film from Amazon in all formats including 3-D here:
Have you seen Gods of Egypt? Do you long for practical special effects or are you happy with what CGI now adds to movies? We would love to hear from you here at Barking Mad About Films
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