When one casts a lowered eye upon the awe inspiring pyramids and monoliths rising out of the sands of time it begs the question: What could compel a band of desert dwellers , carving out a living at the fringe of Arabia and Africa to construct megalithic edifices to artifacts of one’s imagination? However, it all makes sense when Gerard Butler’s imposing stature in buffed bronze, Nikolaj Coster- Waldau’s bacchanal bouts of debauchery and Elodie Yung’s heavenly curves are flaunted, larger than life, on the big screen. It appears that bigger is better and the over sized grandeur of ancient Eqypt puts on a spectacle to impress.
Unfettered by the constraints of historical and ethnological accuracy, acclaimed director Alex Proyas of “I Robot” and “The Crow’, weaves a mixed bag of plot lines inspired by Greek, Nordic and, of course Egyptian mythology with a sprinkling of romance and family dysfunction. Those seeking to make sense of the movie would be better served sitting back and enjoying Gods of Egypt as an original fantasy film, heavily laden with impressive and convincing CGI.
In Gods of Egypt, the divine masters, it seems, are closer in disposition to the petty, emotional wrecks that are their mortal subjects than to omniscient beings above the trivialities of humanity. Set the god of chaos, portrayed by Butler, ousts his brother Osiris and his nephew, Horus ( Coster- Waldau) from the throne after impaling the former and plucking the eyes from the sockets of the latter. After this episode of fratricide and attempted nepoticide, Set graduates to patricide. Spurred on by revenge, the blind Horus allies with Bek (Brenton Thwaites), a thief blinded by love, in a bid to regain his throne and honour. Along the way, the beguiling Hator (Yung) and vain Thoth (Chadwick Boseman) join the duo in their quest.
As a fantasy movie, Gods of Egypt is a run away train of wild imagination. The lush oasis cities of the Nile are as exotic and dramatic as the creatures that terrorise the fairy-tale utopia. Giant scrabs pulling chariots, Minotaur scouts, colossal sand worms and even the Sphinx are all part of the visually breath taking bestiary employed to impede the journey undertaken by our band of heros. For all that Gods of Egypt can be faulted, such as Egyptians with British theatrical accents, these minor quibbles are over shadowed by the highly entertaining visual extravaganza that throws up the right mix of comedy, thrills, drama and romance to make this film worth watching multiple times; the first to take in the sights and sounds and the second to revisit the gorgeous, stunning sequences.
The Gods of Egypt will be released in Singapore cinemas from 25 Feb 2016. Go catch it!