Gods of Egypt (2016) – reviewed by George

Alex Proyas (Director), Matt Sazama & Burk Sharpless (Writers), and  Eric Durst (Senior Visual Effects Supervisor) have brought us a CGI fever dream. The creature-headed gods of Egypt are great reasons for great CGI, but this film does not stop there – there are sweeping aerial shots of cities and deserts, the gods change back and forth from human bodies to their animal-headed selves, fire surrounds characters, water pours in torrents, and so on. Visually we have a knockout here. And the actors are good too. Bryan Brown portrays Osiris, the God of Life; Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is his son Horus, Lord of the Air; Gerard Butler is Osiris’s brother Set, the God of the Far Barren Desert; Rachel Blake is Isis, Osiris’s wife and Horus’s mother; Chadwick Boseman is Thoth, God of Wisdom; Elodie Yung is Hathor, Goddess of Love; Emma Booth is Nephthys, Goddess of Protection (of the Temple); Goran D. Kleut is Anubis, God of the Underworld; and Alexander England is Mnevis, the bull-headed god who serves Set. And Geoffrey Rush is Ra, Lord of Light and Father of the Gods, the Sun God.
There are also human Egyptians: young lovers Bek and Zaya are played by Brenton Thwaites and Courtney Eaton, and Rufus Sewell plays Urshu, Set’s chief architect.
The film begins with Osiris, in a big public celebration, turning over the throne of Egypt to his son Horus. Set arrives and murders Osiris and then gouges out Horus’s eyes (I may be wrong, but I thought that in the mythology he only gouged out the right eye). Bek and Zaya are separated and while Zaya goes to slave for Urshu, Bek partners up with Horus in his quest to regain his eyes (now stored in Thoth’s library) and avenge his father by killing Set.
One interesting bit: at the beginning of the movie only the wealthy can get into the afterlife, because you have to pay to get in. After Horus wins and takes over the rule of Egypt he says, “From this moment on, the afterlife must be earned, not with gold, but by good deeds, compassion, and generosity. What we do, how we act in this life MATTERS.” Wisdom words for today.
A big, sprawling action flick – my interest never flagged. The entire company is to be congratulated for this real accomplishment. Huzzah to all!

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