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Gods of Egypt (TheaterByte Movie Review)

I remember watching the trailers and previews for Gods of Egypt and thinking to myself that it looked like an absolute train wreck…a beautiful hot mess of a train wreck and lo and behold that’s exactly what we got. I am gods-of-egypt-posterseverely loyal to director Alex Proyas, and have been, since the summer of 1994 when The Crow hit theaters. His directing prowess was cemented in 1998 when Dark City premiered in cinemas and he has continued to be on my good graces ever since. Proyas is not as prolific as others, often taking as much as 5 years or so between films. Now I’m of the “anything by Proyas is a good thing” crowd – after Dark City the man gets a pass in book.

Gods of Egypt stars out in voiceover and takes us on a tour of the ancient world and ancient Egypt. We are taken and shown the totem pole of man and God and where everyone fits into this vast empire. The principle characters are the God Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and the God Set (Gerard Butler). When Horus is to ascend the throne and rule Egypt with a fair hand after his father before him – (the God Osiris played by Bryan Brown) Set comes in and creates chaos and changes the system altogether by challenging Horus to battle and by snatching out his eyes. With the new system in place – rich or poor – they will no longer be able to get into the afterlife by merit – they will have to pay their way in. Those that cannot pay will be banished into the abyss for all eternity.

Along the way, Bek (Brenton Thwaites) and his girlfriend Zaya (Courtney Eaton) enter the story. Zaya is a beautiful young woman who works for Urshu (Rufus Sewell), the greatest architect in Egypt. Bek is a common thief with a good heart who wants nothing more than to spend the rest of his life with Zaya in holy bliss. It’s a little hard to do so, because they’re essentially slaves to the empire now that Set has taken over. With all of that established – Bek will eventually have to team up with Horus to help him get his eyes back while Bek tries to get Zaya’s “freedom” back. I’m trying to refrain from spoilers, because operative word is freedom and it’s not the kind of freedom you’re thinking about, so we’ll leave it at that.

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First things first – or last – Gods of Egypt ran into a bit of a roadblock when it was first promoted. For something called Gods of Egypt — the film lacks actors of color. Yes, the majority of the cast is all played by white actors minus Thoth (Chadwick Boseman). People basically said that this was Exodus all over again. Meh. I don’t mix politics with my films, so I was not bothered. In fact, Alex Proyas was born in Egypt. Some also knocked on the effects and said that they looked crappy. On that front  I would say that the finished film looks better than any of the footage that was used in the marketing. That is not the fault of the filmmakers; I’d blame the studio or the marketing departments for releasing potentially unfinished footage to market the film.

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In any event the film is a rambunctious 2 hour and 7 minute thrill ride that wears its adventurous themes on its gold-plated sleeves. It’s just damned fun all around. There are many set pieces and the action is fast and fierce. All of the actors embody their characters and seem to relish in their perceived God-like-ness. Gerard Butler chews up the scenery with a bit of a nod and wink — he’s basically Leonidas if he were a bad guy — arrogant and strong. Nikolaj has a good heart and is rather cocky but loves his people. Bek – who I thought would be a pest is actually not bad in his role here. He’s a perfect “mortal” duplicate of Horus’ character. Zaya is beautiful and makes for a great lead. I should also mention Geoffrey Rush and Elodie Yung — Rush plays the God of the Gods: Ra and Yung is the Goddess of Love: Hathor. Ra basically knows all and sees all and Hathor can will anyone, man or beast, to do her bidding. They add some “zing” to the film.

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I enjoyed the film overall  and think that it embodies an adventurous spirit  almost like the first three Indiana Jones (in no way am I saying Gods of Egypt is better than Indiana Jones) films did sprinkled in with some Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and The Rocketeer. Gods of Egypt is rated PG-13, which makes it easily accessible. I will most likely be buying the Blu-ray upon its release and hope Alex Proyas does not take another 7 years to make a feature film. Gods of Egypt is recommended.

Gods of Egypt (TheaterByte Movie Review)
3 / 5 TheaterByte Rating
{{ reviewsOverall }} / 5 Users (0 votes)
Summit Entertainment/Lionsgate FilmsStudios & Distributors
PG-13 (for fantasy violence and action, and some sexuality)Rating Certificate
USACountry
EnglishLanguage
127 Mins.Run Time
2.35:1Aspect Ratio
Alex ProyasDirector
Matt Sazama, Burk SharplessWriter
26 Feb. 2016Release Date
The Film
Summary
Gods of Egypt is a fun action-adventure film. Looking forward to Alex Proyas' next feature film!
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