I’m a sucker for films set in Ancient Egypt, films about mythology and films with Gerard Butler, so I basically walked into the cinema knowing that I wouldn’t disappointed.
Although narrated by Egypt’s very own Aladdin, our optimistic thief Bek (Brenton Thwaites) isn’t quite up to size as a main protagonist – No pun intended. He instead seemed to be more of a Jiminy Cricket, to Horus’ (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) Pinnochio…
….If Pinnochi was a 10ft Egyptian god who bled gold.
As it goes Bek looks back to a happier time in his youth, when good looking, entitled and beloved, Prince Horus is set to precede his father, King Osiris who is abdicating the throne, because why the hell not. On the day of his coronation, his Uncle Set (Gerard Butler) waltz’s in and shit hits the fan. Within five minutes the happy go lucky citizens of Egypt are enslaved, King Osiris is dead and Horus has not only lost the crown – but both his eyes. Trust me – things couldn’t get any worse.
Time passes and Set is in control of Egypt, any God that stands in his way falls and the Egyptians seem to have settled into their oppression like they’d been there before. All except plucky wide eyed Zaya (Courtney Eaton), who believes that Horus (who has been banished and has decided to wallow in his parents crypt) can save them all. Batting her eyelashes she convinces her beloved Bek – to help Horus see the way…pun intended.
Now just throw in some stuff about the other Gods, Sets very odd master plan, and the afterlife and we have our movie.
There were a lot of players in this game, some having bigger stakes than others but none utilized quite as well as they could have been, which is annoying considering the film had a 127minute running time and some large plot holes were covered with explainable fixes. With a film like this – done a thousand times in varying ways over the years, they could have given themselves a slight edge in the comedy department, but aside from the odd one liner from Bek, it fell flat, which I felt was a bit of a shame. I will say that some of the fight sequences were pretty unique, and the effects were pretty damn cool. It was a surprising twist watching the Gods transform back to their ‘true form’ and cooler still that they looked like Transformers forged in the firey pits of hell. It was a mix of the old and the new, Set in his transformed state the part man-part jackal that he is depicted as in pictures, and Horus like the Falcon.
They managed to pad out the plot of the movie with smaller and briefly explained story lines, however at the end of the day they could have gone a lot bigger with this movie than the average tale of one man seeking to avenge the death of his father. There was a whole freaking world of gods at their fingertips that went unused, and so it felt a little like going to Hamley’s and choosing to only playing with one toy.
Like I mentioned in the beginning. I love films set in ancient Egypt, anything to do with mythology… and Gerard Butler, but at the end of the day it took over seven hours from when I left the cinema before I even thought to discuss the film with the person I’d seen it with.
I wasn’t disappointed but I also wasn’t overly thrilled.
A contently average watch.