Gods of Egypt: What You Need To Know
As an actor who gained widespread recognition for his role as King Leonidas in 300, Gerard Butler is no stranger to big, swords-and-sandals epics, but his latest starring role sees him tackling something a little different to the bloodthirsty battlefields of Sparta.
Gods of Egypt, as the title suggests, takes place in the ancient land of animal-headed gods, taking the stories of Egyptian lore and spinning them into a CGI-filled space opera. The film arrives in stores on DVD and Blu-ray on Monday (October 24th), here's everything you need to know...
Who's in it?
Alongside Butler is a cast that includes Geoffrey Rush, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Elodie Yung, Brenton Thwaites, Courtney Eaton and Chadwick Boseman.
And who's directing?
Alex Proyas, the man behind films like The Crow, Dark City and I, Robot, is the one directing the action here.
What's the plot?
The film is set during an era when Egypt is ruled by gods that walk amongst men, larger than their human counterparts and with magical powers, including the ability to transform themselves into animal form. Amongst these gods it is Osiris (Bryan Brown), god of the afterlife, that sits on the Egyptian throne. However, his younger brother Set (Butler) has ambitions to rule of Egypt himself and when Osiris' son Horus (Coster-Waldau) is announced as his successor, Set uses the coronation as an opportunity to kill Osiris and attack Horus, plucking out his eyes (the source of his power) and banishing him from Egypt, taking power for himself.
Set's rule turns Egypt from a place of peace and prosperity into a a tyrannical dictatorship in which the humans are enslaved, but a rebellion is afoot and a young human thief named Bek (Thwaites) decides to enlist the help of the exiled Horus to expel Set from Egypt and restore the banished god to his rightful place. However, to do this he'll need to break into Set's temple and steal back one of Horus' eyes, and it's guarded by the Sphinx, who will kill anyone not smart enough to solve his riddles and gain access to the temple.
To do that he enlists the help of Thoth (Boseman), god of wisdom, and pays on his ego to trick him into helping him. But even after retrieving the eye, Horus will need to figure out where his real destiny lies if he is to defeat Set and return Egypt to peace.
Does it deliver?
This first thing to note here is that the film does take some liberties with the accepted version of the Egyptian mythological stories, so if you're imagining a film that faithfully sticks to the hieroglyphic script – and to paraphrase a line from another well-known space opera – these are not the deities you are looking for.
The film does have its problems - chief among them an over-reliance on CGI and a lack of any actual Egyptians in the cast (for which the filmmakers have since apologised) - but that's not to say that Gods of Egypt isn't a lot of fun. Silly fun, yes, but the cast is a talented one and there are some good performances, particularly from Boseman, whose character Thoth gives the film some light relief. If you have an interest in Egyptian culture but aren't too precious about the details, then this might well be worth a look.