Gods of Egypt Review!

Jondee here at the Library of Thoth,

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The trailer for Gods of Egypt was intriguing, I missed it’s opening, and then heard about all of the hate towards the movie. Actually watching the movie, I don’t understand the hatred, it is a fun movie. There was criticism about the ethnicity of the cast, but this is a fantasy , I don’t want to spoil things, but there are no actual gods in the movie either. It reminds me of Prince of Persia (2010) which is also a fantasy and makes no pretense of being a Persian tale or set in actual Persia. Maybe the reviewers don’t understand fun or want them in movies, but director Alex Proyas is delivering here in spectacle and adventure. The film opens with narration by an older Bek, Brenton Thwaites who played Jonas in The Giver (2014), he explains the gods, the two brothers, Osiris and Set, shown as statues in a museum. The gods are twice the size of mortals and have gold in their veins. Proyas blows away the museum dust to give us a Vegas polish. This resolves to a pan across the Nile to a city that is beyond imagination. Proyas is known for his vision in such films as The Crow (1994) and Dark City (1998). Bek is a thief snatching away a dress to give to his beloved, Zaya, played by Courtney Eaton who was Cheedo the Fragile in Mad Max: Fury Road. Both leads are charismatic, I want to follow their stories, and see more from them. Zaya wants Bek to believe in Horus, the Lord of Air, since he is being coronated as ruler of Egypt in a ceremony.

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Horus, played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau who is known for portraying the deadly, but arrogant Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones, is in drunk stupor. He is woken and falls into a bath to be washed by attendants. They leave to be replaced by the hands of the goddess of love, Hathor, played by Elodie Yung. She was Jinx in G.I. Joe Retaliation (2013) and currently plays Elektra in the Netflix Daredevil series. Kudos to costume designer Liz Keogh, the dresses and clothes are extravagant and original. The ceremony begins with Horus’ father, Osiris (Bryan Brown) there to tell the assembled that rich and poor will be seen equal in the underworld. The gods come to pay their respect, the god of wisdom, Thoth (Chadwick Boseman), but the ceremony is interrupted by Set, Gerard Butler, who has entered sword and sandals territory with 300 (2007) and is now in the London is Falling. Butler plays Set as ruthless, greedy, driven by the rejection of his father.  He is welcomed by Osiris, his brother, and gifts a horn to his nephew, Horus. The horn is blown calling in Set’s soldiers. Set kills Osiris and then battles with Horus, they both transform to their metallic, armored forms. Set has a jackal head with his armor and Horus has a hawk head and wings. Set defeats Horus knocking him back to normal form and plucks out his eyes! Egyptian mythology has Isis reassembling Osiris enough to have a child, Horus, but we are not bound to any mythology here.

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The chaos separates Bek from Zaya and Set’s rule permits only those with gold pass into the underworld. Set builds a massive tower to honor his father, Ra. Bek pulls stones by day and sneaks away to see Zaya, now a slave to the chief architect, Urshu, played with villainy by Rufus Sewell. She wants Bek to sneak in and steal the eyes of Horus. There are traps and he has Urshu’s plan to defeat them. One is activated by shadow, Bek is clever in defeating that one, and he sets off the next one, but is able to slip past it. The last one has Bek making a flying catch of the eye of Horus which he uses to drive off the scorpions on the floor below. Bek goes to take away Zaya, but Urshu has discovered the theft and brought in his guards. Bek uses the eye to blind them and takes Urshu’s chariot to escape with Zaya. On the way, Zaya is killed by Urshu’s arrow! They head over to Horus’ abandoned temple in the desert. He is a blind drunk now and Bek makes a deal to get his eyes, the source of his power, in exchange for Zaya’s life. Horus agrees and summons Anubis (Goran D. Kleut), the dog-headed god of death. Anubis takes Zaya to the underworld and Horus explains that if he can defeat Set and become king, then he can save Zaya from the underworld.

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Set is with Hathor and sends his minotaur-like minion, Mnevis (Alexander England) after Horus. The Lord of Air and Bek are climbing a mountain to reach a shrine. There he calls on his father, Ra, for a meeting. He is able to transform to his deity form and fly Bek to the a cosmic ship flown by the sun god. Horus tells Bek to stay in his shadow or be burnt by the sun. Ra is played by genre vet Geoffrey Rush and he has Bek thrown to the lower deck so he can pull the sun to safety around the flat Earth. Ra then faces Apophis, a massive shadow serpent that is all spinning teeth, threatening to devour the world. Ra drives it away with his staff. Horus wants the divine water which flows along the ship and then he is sent to Earth with Bek. Set’s army is busy laying siege to the city of his wife, Nephthys (Emma Booth). He rides his chariot of giant scarab beetles to breech the city. Nephthys tries to flee, but Set drags her down and cuts off her wings! Horus and Bek have to take on Mnevis and his minotaur henchmen, the goddesses, Astarte (Yaya Deng), and Anag (Abbey Lee) riding fire-breathing giant snakes, to bring the bottle of divine water to quench the fires of Set, the source of his power. They are joined by Hathor, who can’t seduce Bek since he’s in love, and later by Thoth, the god of wisdom who can learn a thing or two from mortals. I thought Egyptian mythology was obsessed with death which I thought would be more in Proyas’ territory, but instead shines the light of the sun on this fanciful tale. Four Eyes of Horus out of Five!

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