I’m a sucker for movies about mythology — gods and mortals dealing with demons and monsters. What’s not to love?
And yet few such movies are ever very good. They tend to be cheesy, special-effects-laden affairs with predictable, often nonsensical plots.
Which brings us to “Gods of Egypt.” I could tell from the trailers that this was going to be another “Clash of the Titans” or “Immortals” kind of affair. And yet I had to go. And sure enough, it was a cheesy, special-effects-laden affair with a predictable, fairly nonsensical plot.
According to the narrator, in days of old the gods of Egypt lived and played alongside mortals. You could tell the gods from the mortals because gods were significantly taller and had super powers. And yes, it’s odd and creepy having a cast that’s two different sizes.
The mortals of our story are young couple Bek (Brenton Thwaites) and Zaya (Courtney Eaton). He’s good at stealing things, she’s good at being his love interest.
Bek steals a dress for Zaya so she can look all regal when they attend the coronation ceremony for the god Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), who’s about to be crowned king of Egypt. Unfortunately, the god Set (Gerard Butler) crashes the party, rips out Horus’ eyes, and declares himself the new king of Egypt.
Set sets about enslaving the mortals and making them build a tower to heaven. Zaya convinces Bek to steal Horus’ eyes (the source of his power) from Set’s treasure room and return them so that Horus can take down his rival and reclaim the throne.
It’s not going to be easy.
“Gods of Egypt” was directed by Alex Proyas, who has given us such decent, mostly cult, films like “The Crow,” “Dark City” and “Knowing.” This movie has a lot of his visual flair, especially in the set designs, but it’s not enough to save this by-the-numbers story.
There is some impressive talent in the cast, such as Geoffrey Rush and Rufus Sewell, but they’re mostly playing second-fiddle to the special effects. The effects range wildly in quality, while quantity is more than sufficient.
I can’t say “Gods of Egypt” is a good film but it was better than I was expecting. If you’re a fan of “Clash of the Titans” and similar fare you’d probably enjoy it.