Review: ‘Gods of Egypt’ full of over-the-top adventure
I’ve been trying to squeeze in as many Oscar-nominated movies as possible before Sunday, so I’ll admit I was looking forward to some light, mindless entertainment when I saw “Gods of Egypt” earlier this week.
I’m not gonna lie. Mindless entertainment is exactly what I got. It’s visually stunning, but this isn’t a movie likely to win much critical appraise beyond its production design. That said, I have a feeling kids especially will enjoy this movie the same as I enjoyed the equally cheesy “Clash of the Titans” starring Harry Hamlin when I was young.
“Gods of Egypt” centers around a group of Gods who bleed gold and are twice the size of mortals, which looks as ridiculous as it sounds. On the coronation day of the powerful god Horus (played by “Game of Thrones” actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), his uncle Set (Gerard Butler), the merciless god of darkness, decides to claim the throne for himself and rule all of Egypt. He ruthlessly disables Horus by stealing his all-seeing eyes and then enslaves all of the land’s mortals.
One of those mortals is the cunning thief Bek (Brenton Thwaites) who doesn’t have near as much faith in the gods as his beloved fiancé, Zaya, does. Zaya convinces Bek to steal back Horus’s eyes from Set so Horus can reclaim his power and his throne. The problem is, Horus is a cocky, narcissistic god who doesn’t care as much about humanity as he does revenge. Not to mention, Bek is only able to retrieve one of Horus’s eyes, which leaves him at half power. Together, the two unlikely allies of mortal thief and wounded god set out on a journey with the same goal — to reclaim Egypt from Set — but with two very different motives.
The surprising thing about “Gods of Egypt” is that it boasts a cast of familiar and respected actors, including Geoffrey Rush and Chadwick Boseman. The visuals, as I mentioned, are stunning and well done, even when the gods morph into shiny transformers and go to battle in the sky. The special effects, on the other hand, are sometimes so bad they’re laughable.
There’s also a lot going on plot wise that had me a little confused trying to keep up. That said, “Gods of Egypt” never tries to be more than what you’d expect from a fantasy adventure film. It’s a bit over-the-top, but sometimes that can be fun to watch.
Parents interested in taking the kids to see this movie should note its PG-13 rating is for fantasy violence and action, and some sexuality. The goddess of love, Hathor, is routinely dressed like a Victoria Secret model in flimsy robes, and even Horus struts around in what amounts to shorts and little else. There is a very quick sex scene that basically involves two characters falling onto the bed before cutting to some scantily clad cuddling afterward. There is plenty of violence in the tone of video game fighting, with gods transforming into robot-like creatures and fighting to the death. The heroes are also constantly put in scenes of peril.
Overall, I’d compare the movie to “Clash of the Titans” (both the original and the remake), and maybe “Prince of Persia.” If you were OK with your kids watching any of those films, they should be OK seeing “Gods of Egypt.”
With a run time of 127 minutes, “Gods of Egypt” is now playing in theaters nationwide.