The European Gods of Egypt (Gods of Egypt, 2016)

gods_of_egypt_poster.jpgOkay, the title there is a little unfair. The cast is not all white or European.  You have Chadwick Boseman and Elodie Yung for example.  But still, our core heroes and central gods are pretty white.  So, the title stays.

Set in a world where the gods are real and rule Egypt directly while walking among the people, Gods of Egypt is focused on young Bek and his beloved Zaya.  While Zaya favors the gods and sees them as good, Bek is more skeptical.

On the day Osiris passes his crown to son Horus as the new king, Set betrays Osiris and kills him, stealing Horus’ eyes and casting him out of the temple.  When Zaya is killed, Bek steals one of Horus’ eyes and seeks out Horus.  He gives Horus the one eye and makes a deal to help Horus get revenge on Set in return for bringing Zaya back from the dead.

There is a race of time, as Zaya will soon have to pay tribute to enter the afterlife, and she has nothing to give.  They enlist help from Hathor (goddess of love) and Thoth (god of wisdom).  At a pivotal moment, it is revealed that it is not possible for Horus to uphold his end of the deal.  From there on out, it becomes a struggle to defeat Set and his master plan.

Visionary director Alex Proyas returns after “Seven Years in Exile” for his Nick Cage vehicle Knowing. I confess to having a limited knowledge of Egyptian mythology, so casting aside, this all may be terribly accurate…but I am guessing that it is not the case.  Nothing in the film feels terribly authentic (for example, the golden armor or the cosmic machines) and while the general design sense is kind of cool looking, there are things that just are awkward. The gods are slightly larger than the humans, and it just looks weird. The film tries to be more dramatic than it manages, and it’s big moments tend to fall flat.

Gods of Egypt simply never gels, and honestly, the visual highlights simply cannot save it.

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