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*Warning: Spoilers of all kinds for Gods of Egypt are ahead! Turn back now if you don’t wish to be spoiled!!
When the screen went black and the credits began to roll, my first thought regarding Gods of Egypt was WOW! My second thought? When can I see this again!
Maybe I am crazy, but I loved this movie. I went in hoping for a wild and crazy ride and that’s exactly what I got. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau completely owns the role of Horus, the initially spoiled heir apparent to the throne of Egypt who learns a touch of humility after his evil uncle Set (Gerard Butler) rips his eyes out. A mortal thief named Bek (Brenton Thwaites) manages to steal one of the eyes back and gives it to Horus, on the condition that once Set is defeated, Horus brings his murdered love Zaya (Courtney Eaton) back to life (Horus leaves out the small detail that he can’t actually do this).
Horus and Bek make a great (and rather humorous at times) duo. Part of this is due to the fact that in Gods of Egypt, the gods are noticeably taller than mortal beings (I think Horus is supposed to be about eight feet tall). Another element that made them so watchable is seeing Horus go through different stages of how he deals with Bek. At first, he sees the thief as nothing more than a means to an end, he doesn’t even call him by name at first, simply saying “Mortal” as his name (until Bek objects).
But as they go through a few conflicts together (like being ambushed by Set’s hunters), the unlikely pair slowly learn to work together. For me, they really began to hit their stride when they were confronted by Set’s giant snakes. Bek willingly threw himself out as bait and Horus followed his lead and took down the snakes (with a little help in the end from Hathor, Horus’ on again-off again love).
But the big moment for me comes at the climax, when Horus and Set are in the midst of their epic battle. The world is literally coming to pieces, and Set seemingly has Horus cornered (again). Unbeknownst to Set, Bek has snuck up behind him and uses a slingshot to deflect the blow that would have killed Horus. When Set lunges to the attack, Bek seizes the moment to steal back Horus’ OTHER eye (Set had been using it to enhance his own powers) and tosses it to Horus. But as the eye darts towards him, Horus realizes that Bek is moments away from falling off the top of the enormous tower they’ve been battling on.
Horus has a choice to make, does he grab his eye (something he’s wanted since he got the first one back) or does he save this mortal he’s become rather attached to? Horus makes his choice…and saves Bek! In one of the film’s weaker moments, Horus magically discovers that he can still transform into his bird form (all of the gods can shapeshift) despite having stated repeatedly that he needs both eyes to do so. Bek is saved from falling to his death and Set is ultimately destroyed. There’s a lot more, but I don’t want to spoil everything. All I know is, I want to go see this movie again, and that is something I rarely feel.
Other random thoughts:
Marco Beltrami completely delivered with his score for this film . The main theme encapsulates the world of Ancient Egypt with his Eastern influences. Hathor, goddess of love, also has a lovely theme. I don’t know which track it is yet, but a main theme playing during the end credits really stuck out to me. Beltrami is rapidly becoming one of my favorite film composers, and he is definitely one of the reasons I enjoyed this movie so much (the saying goes that a good film score can cover over many errors).
As much as I enjoyed this film, it did have its fair share of flaws (some moments could have used a bit more exposition to set up what was going on) and since it is based on Ancient Egyptian mythology, if you’re not familiar with that particular set of myths, you probably found some elements of the story pretty confusing.
And finally, while the media is already calling this a flop, I still hope that they go through with the sequel they’re clearly setting up for based on how the movie ended (it’s not a cliffhanger, but the hook is clearly present for a follow-up story). I’ve seen worse films than this get a sequel, so hopefully we’ll see Gods of Egypt 2 somewhere down the road (hopefully with Coster-Waldau reprising his role, seriously, he was really good).
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