Thoughts on Gods of Egypt (2016)

I was drawn to this movie by the trailer alone. Ancient Egyptian mythology, special effects and Gerard Butler seemed like a winning combination. So naturally I was keen to see it.  And while I found nothing wrong with the casting or the premise behind Gods of Egypt I was a little disappointed to find that no matter where the story took the characters I just didn’t care about them. I don’t know why, I just didn’t feel engaged, emotionally invested or attached to their journey at all.  I seemed to watch with a vague interest and a “meh, whatever, they won’t die” attitude which surprised me as I’m usually a sucker for mythical/magical movies. Maybe it was missing something… or maybe I just had higher expectations than I realised.

In the beginning we are guided by our narrator who sets the scene of peaceful Egyptian life before Set’s hostile take over and gives us a little background information about the gods who walk among them. I found this to be fairly informative without being overloaded with information or feeling too much like a museum lecture. You also get to see the contrast between the lavish lifestyle of the gods and the poorer lifestyle of the common folk who worship them.

However, like all movies, the peace and balance of every day life is soon interrupted. And what better way to do this then with the arrival of Gerard Butler as Set to cause some stress and destruction with his red-clad minions?

Naturally the restoration of Egypt’s peace falls partly to Bek (Brenton Thwaites); a crafty young mortal thief and apparently the only one who can sneak through the heavily booby-trapped vault to steal back a powerful, blue glowing eye and return it to its rightful owner Horus; the god of air and the next in line to rule Egypt (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau).

The plot continues on from there somewhat predictably with a few CGI creatures and gods popping up along the way to either help or hinder our heroes. While most of the gods are useful to the plot and fairly believable I found the god of wisdom Thoth to be rather annoying. He could have done with a rewrite or less screen time in my opinion. I also got the weird feeling the character was partly modelled on Kanye West which just did not suit the rest of the movie at all. It felt like a forced attempt at comic relief.

If you are after a riveting movie with a lot of substance, character revelations and heart… see something else. If you don’t really care about those things and are more interested in gold blood, pyramids, destruction and cleavage enhancing costumes then Gods of Egypt can accommodate.

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