‘Gods of Egypt’: An outdated fantasy (IANS Review, Rating: **)

Film: “Gods of Egypt”; Director: Alex Proyas; Cast: Gerard Butler, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Rufus Sewell, Brenton Thwaites, Courtney Eaton, Abbey Lee, Chadwick Boseman and Geoffrey Rush; Rating: **

Packed with spectacular action, director Geoffrey Rush’s “Gods of Egypt” is a fantasy-adventure film, based on the Egyptian mythology. It is a tale of romance, power, survival and afterlife.

Designed on a grand scale with rousing music, the narration begins with Set (Gerard Butler), the merciless god of Darkness, usurping the throne of Egypt after blinding his nephew, Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) the god of the Winds, thereby plunging the once peaceful and prosperous empire into chaos and conflict.

The ambitious Set preserves Horus’s eyes in a highly mechanised booby-trapped vault. He also terrorises the other gods and enslaves his subjects, making life miserable for them.

Meanwhile, mere mortal Bek (Brenton Thwaites) who is besotted with the beautiful Zaya (Courtney Eaton) agrees to carry out her plan to steal Horus’s eyes from Set and give it back to Horus. By doing so, they hope to restore Horus to the throne and thereby resume a happy life.

Bek partially succeeds in his endeavour. He then goes to meet Zaya, who is the slave of Set’s henchman, an architect. While escaping from the henchman’s clutches, Zaya is shot. Bek is distraught at losing her. How he takes the help of the various gods to reach out to Zaya in the afterlife and restore peace in Egypt, forms the crux of this tale.

The script written by Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama begins on a rocky note with the introduction of the numerous characters – gods and humans via a sedate voiceover and sequences of heavily crammed up scenes packed with exposition. What follows is an unengaging narrative with over-emphasised aesthetics.

The occasional witty banter and action is what peps and spurs the viewing experience. This is very evident especially when Bek corners Thoth (Chadwick Boseman) the god of Wisdom.

The performance of every actor is perfunctory. Gerard Butler as Set seems confused as he keeps frowning and screaming throughout. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as the tortured Horus and Chadwick Boseman as the arrogant and narcissistic Thoth are conventional.

It is Brenton Thwaites who charms with his pleasant persona and sincere endeavour.

Visually, the film seems brilliant with usage of 3D effects and computer-generated images. The morphing of the gods from their human structure to their metallic image and the juxtaposition of the oversized gods with their wings spread, soaring into the sky alongside the pint-sized humans is well-handled. This incorporated in well-synchronised action sequences make it too heavy for absorption.

At the end, the film seems a bit obsolete and outdated with a thin storyline.

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