'Gods of Egypt'
Dir: Alex Proyas
Cast: Brendon Thwaites, Gerard Butler, Nikolai Coster-Waldau
Game of Thrones may have renewed the interest in the old fashioned Dino Di Laurentis' styled mythic-historical costume drama, but the vigour and creative smarts is quite missing in the offerings of recent past, lacking both distinction and cinematic allure. Having Gerard Butler don old fashioned battle armour might bring back visions of 300, but the rendering of this do-or-die battle between the Gods is quite irreverent and perishable in my book.
A still from the film
Set (Butler), the God of Disorder, wrests control of his kingdom from his brother Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) while tearing his eyes out and saving it in an impregnable mausoleum (for future reference). Hathor (Elodie Yung), the Goddess of Love, pleads for his life and Set banishes the blind Horus to a crypt where he is set free by Bek (Brendon Thwaite), a resourceful thief whose beautiful young lover Zaya (Courtney Eaton) gets killed with Set's connivance. Bek's hopes rest on lore that states that only the King of Egypt can bring the dead back to life. And to that end, he teams up with Horus to help him regain sight and win back his throne.
There's plenty of action and spectacle on display here. There's also quite a celestial glow to the proceedings, but the shine looks newly minted and not the kind that would have suited the ancient Gods of Egypt. Also, having Caucasians essay the roles of Arab-Asians makes it just a little more unbelievable — especially when their English twang is so pronounced and unbecoming of Egyptian Gods.
The CGI and VFX are top-notch, no doubt. The battle scenes have the dazzle and flare associated with otherworldly shenanigans, but the involvement stays minimal. The array of imagery is striking, but the proceedings are quite hollow and lacking in conviction. Sincerity from actors is also not much of a plus here.
Proyas fails to lend divinity to the enterprise because of which the experience comes across as much too common for comfort. The repetitive, unimaginative action makes this less of an adventure and more of a bore. While you may admire the physical magnificence of the pyrotechnics on display, there's little that can take your breath away. This is a tiresome exercise at regaining immortality and the gamey nature of the pursuit only makes it worse.