Another reviewer has described Alex Proyas’s Gods of Egypt as ‘one hot mess’, and that would seem to be a fairly accurate description. With excessive use of CGI and 3D, a barely fathomable plot and a confusing design style, this film is certainly a little untidy. But that’s not to say the film isn’t likeable.
Set in ancient Egypt, the gods rule the land in a peaceful, though greedy, manner. The mortals are their subjects who are protected in this life and the next thanks to the gods’ benevolence. In front of a legion of mortal subjects, Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau of Game of Throne’s fame) is about to be crowned king of the gods by his father Osiris (Bryan Brown), when his uncle Set (Gerard Butler) arrives to spoil the show. Killing Osiris and blinding Horus, Set crowns himself as king and kills anyone who dares to stop him.
In the crowd is Bek (Brenton Thwaites), a young mortal man who is in love with Zaya (Courtney Eaton). Together they have come to see Horus crowned king, but instead they witness Set’s overthrow. They are enslaved by the new king, along with everyone else, and for many months they toil building tributes to the new king. Bek and Zaya decide to restore Horus’s power and his sight by stealing back one of his eyes from Set. In the process Zaya is killed, but Bek strikes a deal with Horus to bring Zaya back to like if Bek can help steal the other eye from the tyrannical Set.
A fantastical romp ensues, with the gods able to transform themselves into golden, mechanical beings. They fight and fly, breath fire and conduct various magical tricks. The quest of Bek and Horus sees them battling all sorts of opponents – mythical creatures of incredible powers. There is a curious blend of mythologies that compose Gods of Egypt, some certainly more Greek and Celtic than Egyptian, but fun nonetheless.
A disclaimer of sorts may be in order here, as this reviewer is not a fan of 3D at all. The format is dark, the vibrancy of colour is lost to the tinted glasses, and in so many instances the added dimension is merely a distraction rather then an enhancement. All this is true in the case of Gods of Egypt. Without the 3D the colour scheme is really dramatic, but with it the film is dark and somewhat gloomy. Additionally, the CGI and styling are a little too much. The result are a set of visuals that seem too much like a video game and less like a good film, which is a shame.
In saying that, this is still an enjoyable film. The acting is hammy, and in fun pantomime style. This is welcome, as the plot has a few holes and many of the developments are confusing and inexplicable. This film is fun and it is okay, but it is largely forgettable.
Gods of Egypt is in cinemas from 25th February through Entertainment One.