As a sucker for anything taking place in Egypt, a big fantasy movie titled Gods of Egypt piqued my interest as soon as it was announced. I wished that this would be a new Stargate or Indie, but I was so wrong. Gods of Egypt are a mix of several similarly themed movies. The general vibe is Wrath of The Titans, battles are The Lord of the Rings and 300 is Butler. On the face of it, this doesn’t seem like a bad blend of movies at all. Especially when you consider the humorous atmosphere and easygoing vibe. However, everything comes up just bland and tasteless, despite all their efforts. It’s just too commercial and straightforward. Especially when you consider the Hollywood regulars cast without any Egyptian actors. They’ve could’ve added someone who at least looks the part for fucks sake.
In retrospect, Gods of Egypt is probably one of the last movies that fucked this up. However, I do not want to go down that rabbit hole just now, so let’s move on. And let’s cut to the chase right now. There are three reasons why you should check out this movie. It’s taking place in ancient Egypt, the special effects are great, and the action is over-the-top. If you don’t think this is for you, feel free to skip this one. The PG-13 rating sounds about right and I’m sure if you saw this movie as a kid you would love it. And not just because of the sheer number of cleavages and well-built male bodies.
I’m willing to suspend my beliefs and forgive a lot of stuff just to be taken to the exotic and mysterious Egypt of the past. Hell, I’m willing to go to Egypt of today, if anyone is willing to fund me. We learn more about the kings and queens from their fabled mythology in the most entertaining fashion. Of course, this is sort of an alternate reality of what’s really in the myths but at least you’ll learn their names. Sure, the storytelling is disjointed and you simply don’t believe in the motivations of the characters. But, hey there’s Horus, Ra, and all the rest of the gang doing some fun stuff. There’s this sense of grandeur as we see their shiny robes and jewelry. Not to mention the CGI crowds.
Welcome to the time of the Kings in the land of the mighty Nile. Here, they live among mortals, ruling and bickering just like us. This escalates when Set kills his brother Osiris and exiles his son Horus from Egypt. Fast forward one year and we find a petty thief called Bek doing what he does best in the bustling city streets. He doesn’t know it yet, but he has a dangerous and epic journey ahead of him. A journey that starts when he’s given the plans for Set’s pyramid by his lover Zaya.
Finally, probably the biggest reason why Gods of Egypt is worth checking out are the visuals. The special effects are great along with stellar cinematography. There are so many epic scenes from fights with monsters to magical places that you will feel overwhelmed by them. And since the gods are actually giants, it was fun to watch a modern movie with this thing going on. A giant, half-naked Nikolaj Coster-Waldau getting a scrub from sexy concubines, why the hell not? You can see that they were going for that almost silly and not taking themselves seriously vibe here. Speaking of Nikolaj, the cast of Gods of Egypt, albeit strikingly white, was pretty solid and did the job it needed to do. At least we got Chadwick Boseman. These are all experienced actors who knew exactly how to approach the role and get that easygoing tone just right.
Plus, you get an opportunity to see two Aussie legends, Geoffrey Rush and Bryan Brown as Egyptian Gods. After the initial backlash, I believe that over time, this movie will become one of those guilty pleasures. Just wait about ten or fifteen years and you’ll see. The same thing happened with so many movies from the eighties that were panned for one reason or another but are now cult classics. Speaking of which, I can’t help but notice many similarities with those fantasy movies. From the gruesome details like gouging of the eyes over silly fights to sexual overtones, it’s all there. If you want to test my theory about guilty pleasures, you might wanna take a look at The Curse of King Tut’s Tomb. Released in 2006, starring Casper Van Dien and directed by Russel Mulcahy of his Highlander fame, it aged just the right amount.