‘Gods of Egypt’: Crash of the Titans
Effects-drenched and campy, the fantasy flick “Gods of Egypt” follows the saga of the hunter-deity Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), who must fight his tyrannical uncle Set (Gerard Butler), a power-hungry god, to restore peace and prosperity to a once-thriving land.
The Egyptian gods, gigantic beings that once mingled with humans, are mostly peaceful. One of the most revered is young Horus, a naïve and carefree prince whose coronation was violently prevented by his ambitious uncle.
Two of Horus’ mortal worshippers, Bek (Brenton Thwaites) and Zaya (Courtney Eaton)—lovers who became slaves after Set’s coup—later find ways to upset the subjugator’s rule, in the hope of bringing back the defeated gods.
From the start, “Gods of Egypt” is a brightly rendered but unwieldy enterprise—the mostly-Caucasian cast about the people and mythology of Egypt is distracting, and the script often veers into cheesy clichés.
In “Gods of Egypt,” the main ones are either insufferable or guileless—and, in Horus’ case, both—and are reminiscent of modern-day, self-important celebrities.
The god duels are video game-flashy, but costume designs are aptly ornate and otherworldly. The monster designs—a pair of giant slithering serpents and a titanic space slug, among others—are also impressively executed. Like in both versions of “Titans,” the creature effects are competently utilized.
The film by Alex Proyas offers little else—actors Coster-Waldau, Butler, and Geoffrey Rush (as the sun god, Ra) and Rufus Sewell (as the human architect, Urshu) shine in intermittent bursts, but are ultimately overpowered by the visual effects and less-than-spectacular dialogue.
Thwaites, who looks like One Direction member Liam Payne, is actually interesting, but figures in some god-awful buddy-comedy scenarios as the predictable sidekick to the similarly unsurprising Horus!