Charged with an overload of CGI effects and a strong ensemble cast, Alex Proyas must have envisaged an outstanding blockbuster hit around the World, only to be let down by strong criticisms of a largely white cast. Gods of Egypt has engrossed disappointing returns since its release despite a humungous USD 140 million budget, including a USD 30 million marketing campaign. The much-hyped movie had earned only a little more than half of its budget by March 9, 2016 by screening worldwide.
The movie is an action-packed fantasy epic from beginning to end, and definitely deserves more credit than received from viewers worldwide. The movie is certainly not in the same league as The Gladiator or Troy, but Gods of Egypt is worth a watch in the cinemas for its unending burst of action scenes. It is based on an alternate Egypt as projected in myths where the world was flat and gods lived among human beings. The gods were set apart from the ordinary human beings by their superior height, golden blood, their extremely long life and their power to transform into powerful winged creatures.
The movie begins with Bek (Brenton Thwaites), a thief stealing a dress for his beloved Zaya (Courtney Eaton) so that they could attend the coronation of God Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) by his father Osiris (Bryan Brown). When the brother of Osiris and god of the desert and violence, Set (Gerald Butler) interrupts. He cons the king into believing his peaceful visit before usurping the throne by murdering his brother and seizing the eyes of Horus.
As chaos reigned in the kingdom, Bek is separated from Zaya.
A year later, Set has strongly established himself king after marrying God of Love and Horus’s lover, Hathor. However, Bek and Zaya have other plans and they manage to retrieve one of the eyes of Horus using the floor plans from Urshu’s (Rufus Sewell) Library, but Zaya is killed in the process and leaves for the afterlife. However, the afterlife is a place she cannot enter as she has nothing to offer as a simple slave after Set introduced new rules to the kingdom.
Bek finds Horus and offers his eye in exchange for a promise that Zaya would be returned. Horus did not hold the power to bring Zaya back to life, but nonetheless deceives Bek with a false promise if he helped him in his quest for revenge on Set. They approach God Ra (Geoffrey Rush), grandfather of Horus and father of Set for help, but he remains neutral on the matter and refuses to help. Set massacres the people and kills many other gods to absorb their powers, taking a key element from each of the gods such as the heart of Osiris, the eye of Horus and the brain of Thoth (Chadwick Boseman). The calamity gets worse when Set attempts to destroy Ra and allow Apophis to destroy the World. The other must take any and all measures to be rid of Set and restore Horus as king again.
Yes, the plot is very long and has many significant parts to it. The movie has a run time of 127 minutes and breezes through the many significant scenes in quick succession. This might prove to be a little difficult for the average audience to absorb. The rage in the sequences is filtered by the amount of dialogue reducing the movie to an extent of mediocrity.
The acting is average too, and none of the actors seem sincere in their roles. There is not too much to distinguish a god from a human except for their much larger size and height. Their behaviour and nature are no different either. The only character to reasonably stand out is that of Bek, the thief, played by Brenton Thwaites.
The cinematographer seems to have been a little too keen with his role that he applied too much CGI effects making it very evident in the movie. Now, Peter Menzies Jr is renowned as a cinematographer, but none of his work is actually creditworthy including this one.
It appears the cast and crew have applied too much effort in making this USD 140 million movie skyrocket only to crash land on the sets once more. However, the movie is better than average and far better than Vin Diesel’s fantasy movie The Witch Hunter. The main reason why many had boycotted the movie apart from the mediocrities was a racist label attached to it. However, there was reasonable representation of a black cast such as the God Thoth. Therefore, I personally feel the movie deserves a rating of 5.5/10.