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Times of India
Ancient Egypt is in chaos, thanks to the god of darkness Set (Butler) who usurps the throne and plunges Egypt into seemingly unending war. Amidst all of this is the mortal Bek's (Thwaites) quest to bring his girlfriend back to life. To do this, he forms an alliance with none other than Horus (Coster-Waldau), who also wants to destroy Set, his ancient enemy. Will Horus and Bek succeed?
Gods of Egypt is a glorious mishmash of Egyptian mythology given the contemporary treatment, full-on CGI and pretty much every fantasy/mythology cliche in the book thrown in. Giant monsters, mythical ghouls, bronzed bodies, plenty of battles and tons of fancy costumes and body armour. On one hand, we have a setting for a titanic battle between Horus and Set and on the other, a decidedly more human (or 'mortal' as humans tend to be referred to in such movies) element where Bek will do anything - including literally climbing the highest mountain, swimming the deepest seas and even dodge a god's blows - to bring back his lady. In this world, there is no magic too outlandish and no effort too far-fetched.
Now, while the CGI is definitely a bit over-the-top, this film does have some good touches to it. For example, Geoffrey Rush has the unlikely task of playing Sun god Ra in here. All it takes for him to grow ten times bigger, burst into flames and do battle with various dark forces, is a stern grimace. Bek brings Horus one of his all-seeing eyes but manages to do a trade - he will help Horus get the other eye so that he can destroy Set but in exchange, Horus must help him bring his dead lady to life. Obviously Horus knows how to do this. He is a god, after all.
Interestingly, there a handful of jokes are scattered throughout the script. Some cheeky lines delivered deadpan-style could have livened things up greatly if the writers were more generous with it. If kitsch mythology and a swords-and-sandals clad Butler along with various bosomy lasses float your boat, it's passable.
THE GODS - RA [Geoffrey Rush]: Father of Osiris and Set, Ra is the Lord of Light and the Cosmos. It is his duty to pull the sun over mythological Egypt at the end of each day. As he does so, he passes into the chaos of the underworld where he fights the demon Apophis. After he beats Apophis back each night, Ra returns to the living world bringing with him the light of a new day. Ra is the creator of this world and its ultimate guardian. He possesses insight beyond any living god or mortal, and views the gift of life as a lesson and a journey. In his eyes, both Osiris and Set were equal. Ra’s deity, while humble and duty-driven, is the most powerful and dominant god standing nearly 20ft tall in his enhanced form and wielding a spear as his weapon.
Set [Gerard Butler]: Son of Ra and god of the Desert, Set is plagued by jealousy. In Set’s eyes, his father apparently favors his brother Osiris, the God of Nature and Life, who is deemed to be a wise ruler and merciful facilitator of human souls into the Afterlife. Set believes that mortals are dispensable and far inferior to the gods. Set puts his pursuit of power, authority and material wealth above all else. Set’s deity is an armored jackal-creature, and his weapon is his sceptre.
Horus [Nikolaj Coster-Waldau]: Horus is the Lord of the Air. While his ego is initially inflated by his status as a god, through his association with Bek, Horus slowly learns to respect mortals, and even develops a liking of them. It’s a change of heart he’ll need if he’s going to avenge the death of his father Osiris and retake the throne from the usurper Set. Horus’ deity is a winged and armored form with a falcon-shaped head. His power resides in his eyes.
Hathor [Elodie Yung]: Goddess of Love, Music and Alcohol, Hathor is desirable to everyone who lays eyes on her. Once known as the Mistress of the West, Hathor was responsible for guiding souls to the Afterlife. Hathor wears the Bracelet of Forty-Two Stars to keep the demons of the dark realm of chaos from pursuing her.
Thoth [Chadwick Boseman]: The god of Wisdom, Thoth possesses the entire world’s knowledge. While Thoth is a genius, he is very self-aware of this fact and uses it to undermine others. His ego is also largely tied up in his perceived intellect. Thoth struggles to trust anyone other than himself, a problem which he has overcome by creating hundreds of automatons, all identical to him. Thoth’s deity is an ibis and his intellectual prowess is unmatched.
Astarte [Abbey Lee] and Anat [Yaya Deng]: Two goddesses of war, Astarte and Anat are both beautiful and brutal. They command and ride two enormous serpents (Anat’s is black, and Astarte’s is white) whose venom burns like liquid fire.
THE MORTALS - Bek [Brenton Thwaites]: Affably mischievous, Bek comes from modest beginnings and has little to offer the woman he loves, Zaya, aside from his heart. Having lost faith in the gods, Bek relies on his own zeal and ingenuity to make his way in life.
Zaya [Courtney Eaton]: The beautiful and humble Zaya is resolute in her faith in the gods, believing that they provide everything a mortal could possibly need. Although she’s somewhat wiser than Bek and knows that material possessions are of little importance, she loves him nonetheless.
Urshu [Rufus Sewell]: The most feared man in Egypt, Urshu has been tasked by Set to oversee the construction of his giant Obelisk and is given Zaya as his own personal slave. Out for his own self-interest, Urshu is overly concerned with gold and material wealth.
The film is inspired by the old Egyptian myth "The Contendings of Horus and Set" which describes a battle between the Egyptian God of Desert, Set and the God of Sky, Horus.
Though the film depicts a battle between Egyptian Gods, it does not feature a single Egyptian artist.
The film was originally to be shot in the Sahara desert, but since it was considered too dangerous, the film was then shot in the Australian desert which served as the former.
Gerard Butler went on a strict workout regime immediately after reading the script since he knew he needed to look like a God to play one.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau reduced his body fat to 7% to play Horus in the film.
The film depicts that both of Horus’ eyes are torn out and on his plea, one is restored. According to the original myth, however, only one of Horus' eye is torn.
In this action-adventure, the survival of mankind hangs in the balance as an unexpected mortal hero Bek [Brenton Thwaites] undertakes a thrilling journey to save the world and rescue his true love. In order to succeed, he must enlist the help of the powerful god Horus [Nikolaj Coster-Waldau] in an unlikely alliance against Set [Gerard Butler], the merciless god of darkness, who has usurped Egypt's throne, plunging the once peaceful and prosperous empire into chaos and conflict. As their breathtaking battle against Set and his henchmen takes them into the afterlife and across the heavens, both god and mortal must pass tests of courage and sacrifice if they hope to prevail in the spectacular final confrontation.
Imagine a world carved from stone and gilt in gold. Visually futuristic, this realm conjures an alternate world where ancient gods live among mortals. This coexistence between beings existed so long as there was peace, but the trust between man and god has been shattered by hubris, jealousy and betrayal as the destruction of all creation dawns nears. Visionary director Alex Proyas has created an otherworldly Egypt, beyond time and history, in which moviegoers voyage through dazzling cityscapes, mythological characters, and epic heroism in this pulse-pounding, fantasy action-adventure. Proyas envisions a completely unique, one-of-a-kind world by combining the timeless art of storytelling and the latest in digital cinema technology.