Gods of Egypt (2016)
Set, the merciless god of darkness, has taken over the throne of Egypt and plunged the once peaceful and prosperous empire into chaos and conflict. Few dare to rebel against him. A young thief, whose love was taken captive by the god, seeks to dethrone and defeat Set with the aid of the powerful god Horus.
“A gift from someone with great assets, and someone with very few.
But when both die and are at the Final Gate… What is its value?
I say we are equal.”
I thought this would be something similar like “Exodus: Gods and Kings“. A historical story set in Egypt with immense scenery’s and an abundance of special effects. Well, it certainly is situated in Egypt. And the bag of tricks, full of kitsch and consolegame-like special effects were exploited to the utmost. Only, now it’s not about a biblical figure but the mythological world of Egypt. Ancient Egypt where people and gods live alongside each other. It sometimes resembled “Gulliver’s Travels” since all those gods of Egypt have an imposing figure compared to the ordinary mortals. Ultimately, it’s a kind of historical “Transformers“. So, full of exaggerated action and impressive transformations into imaginative creatures.
From the opening shot, it’s clear where the biggest amount of money was spent on. A gliding flight over the Egyptian landscape and arriving in a busy shopping street of Egypt. I thought this was already a delight to watch. We get to know Bek (Brenton “The Giver” Thwaites), a kind of Aladdin and a petty thief who succeeds in stealing a (probably in those days) fashionable gown for his beloved Zaya (Courtney “Mad Max: Fury Road” Eaton). And this leads us to the second, unavoidable story : the idyllic love affair. An Egyptian couple with a bright future in front of them and who’ll ultimately be victims of the core story. Eternal love, divine adoration for each other and languorous glances, are the obnoxious symptoms we are witnessing. Granted, it wasn’t overly annoying. And also this story introduces the most eye-catching prop of the entire movie. That heaving bosom of Eaton. I am almost sure that it does not comply with the usual proportions of that era, but it was the only thing that could distract me from all the other epic violence.
Obviously you should watch this spectacle movie without thinking and let yourself be overwhelmed by the lavish fantasy world. The only thing that bothered me was that they tried to cram the entire Egyptian mythological world in this film. As a result, the pacing is scorching high. You’ve only just put yourself down in your cozy chair and two oversized gods are already rolling all over the city center. A sort of re-introduction of “King Kong vs. Godzilla“. And so one action-packed scene after the other passes by. The fascinating situation about Anubis and the Underworld, two giant snakes writhing over a huge maze or some “Tomb Raider” platform stuntwork in the temple of Set (Gerald Butler). You won’t get bored. The most fascinating and crazy part was reserved for Geoffrey “Barbossa” Rush as the god Ra who’s pulling the sun with his floating spacecraft around a disc-shaped earth. I instantly wanted to reread books by Terry Pratchett.
Concerning content you shouldn’t expect too much. And sometimes it’s quite illogical. Of course those gods always tend to have an easy solution when a problem occurs, which is an advantage for the subsequent course of the story. You can predict the outcome already from an Egyptian mile away. That’s no surprise either. And also the CGI wasn’t top notch sometimes in this sword-and-sandal. But this film is mainly judged based on the trailer (which I obviously haven’t seen because I try to avoid them studiously) and therefor is ripped to pieces by critics. Yet I find this somewhat exaggerated.
Well it’s true. At all levels it doesn’t contain any profundity. But what do you expect of this type of movie? Highly intellectual conversations and thoughtful screenplay? You also don’t expect in a movie such as “Schindler’s List” diabolical fright moments or exciting car chases with stirring music? “God of Egypt” showed what I was expecting. Over the top spectacle and action which is digitally displayed in a partially successful way. It effortlessly transcends the level of any Asylum movie. Thank God.