It is award season and amid all the Academy darlings, you usually have Nicholas Cage zooming around with his skull on fire. And the next best thing to Cage driving down the road to hell is a sword-and-sandal saga featuring Gerard Butler showing off his shapely legs.
Alex Proyas, who made the mind-bending Dark City , takes a jolly plunge into ancient Egypt. There are the gods, the ladies with their bosoms heaving, special effects, cheesy dialogue, loads of glitter, gold and CGI. Gods of Egypt is that slightly skewed summer blockbuster. Maybe it is ancient Egypt according to John Murdoch (remember him from Dark City ?).
The world of ancient Egyptian gods is familiar thanks to a guilty perusal of Rick Riordan’s Kane Chronicles, a series of novels based on Egyptian mythology. (The filmmakers have also come in for a lot of flak for casting Caucasians as Egyptians for which Proyas and the producers have apologised.)
Set, the god of darkness, kills his brother Osiris, blinds and banishes his nephew Horus, and takes over the throne of Egypt. He also kills his father Ra, and unleashes the Apophis serpent of chaos, on the unsuspecting masses. All in a day’s work for the bad boy. (Oh, and he also takes Osiris’ girlfriend, Hathor, goddess of love, to bed.) Horus with help from Bek, a mortal and thief, has to set things right, which he does in spectacular style tempered with bad jokes.
Gerard Butler after playing the king of Sparta in 300 , plays Set with teeth-gnashing villainy; he also has the legs and shoulders to carry off little skirts. Geoffrey Rush is the venerable Ra, flying in his sun chariot and sending lightning bolts to quell the serpent of chaos. Chadwick Boseman plays the god of wisdom Thoth, while Rufus Sewell (Murdoch from Dark City ) is Urshu.
Brenton Thwaites is Bek and also provides the voice-over while Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is Osiris. The ladies, Elodie Yung (Hathor) and Courtney Eaton (Zaya), Bek’s love, are comely.
Proyas has done some cool stuff like showing the gods taller than humans to give that weird perspective.
All in all, a fun way to pass the evening. especially if Leonardo DiCaprio’s consuming raw bison liver gets a bit much for you.
Gods of Egypt
Director: Alex Proyas
Cast: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Brenton Thwaites, Chadwick Boseman, Elodie Yung, Courtney Eaton, Rufus Sewell, Gerard Butler, Geoffrey Rush
Runtime: 127 mins