Director: Alex Proyas
Cast: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Gerard Butler, Brenton Thwaites
Release Date: Available on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray & DVD May 31, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 6/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
Gerard Butler and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau star as rival gods Set and Horus, who are locked in a war to rule the universe. To defeat the merciless Set, Horus joins forces with a brave mortal for a journey that will take them across Egypt, through the heavens, and into the afterlife in an unforgettable quest to save mankind.
‘Gods of Egypt’ takes us back to an age long ago when gods and mortals lived among one another and the world was brimming with magic, wonder and a great deal of sand. At his inauguration as King, tragedy strikes as Horus (Coster-Waldau) witnesses his own blood relative Set (Butler) murder his father. After confronting Set and losing the battle only to have his godly sight taken and be subsequently forced into a self imposed exile. At least until a mere mortal named Bek (Thwaites) with courage to spare miraculously recovers one of Horus’ eyes and strikes a deal with the god which leads to the two joining forces on a seemingly impossible quest to fix numerous wrongs including the traitorous Bek’s unlawful claiming of the crown.
Directed by visionary filmmaker Alex Proyas (Dark City, The Crow) from a script by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless (Dracula Untold, The Last Witch Hunter), Proyas does a more than competent job at the helm of ‘Gods of Egypt’ likely working with the story provided to the best of his ability and definitely capturing some gorgeous imagery along the way. The cast is comprised of some familiar faces combined with some lesser known individuals, including Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (TV’s Game of Thrones), Gerard Butler (300), Brenton Thwaites (Maleficent), Courtney Eaton (Mad Max: Fury Road), Chadwick Boseman (Captain America: Civil War), Geoffrey Rush (Pirates of the Caribbean) and more, many of whom deliver fairly decent performances in each of their respective roles, yet some are undeniably more competent than others.
‘Gods of Egypt’ is a generally enjoyable film and offers some gorgeous imagery and an impressive array of digital effects in addition to a number of thoroughly entertaining fantasy fight sequences. Unfortunately it also fails to contribute anything overly unique or monumental; instead falling into many tedious patterns we’ve witnessed all too many times previously which only drag it further down as a result. Even with the filmmakers’ intention of not simply making another sand movie, in many aspects that is exactly what this is. It does take care to portray the gods and humans as actually being significantly different in size which was a nice touch, and you can’t argue that director Alex Proyas manages to make things visually appealing at the very least, with a cast including a number of talented individuals which also help to retain the viewer’s attention. Fans of the genre and the mythology of gods and mortals may want to at least give ‘Gods of Egypt’ a shot and may even end up thoroughly enjoying it, although it might be safest for first time viewers to rent the title as opposed to making a blind purchase.
Overall, ‘Gods of Egypt’ delivers some gorgeous fantasy action sequences and a visually pleasing experience, yet it fails in successfully becoming anything more than the typical and tired genre film which it tries (and unfortunately fails) so desperately to strive away from. Fans of the mythology and such similar films may want to give this one a shot when they find the opportunity to do so and should be sufficiently entertained for the majority of its runtime, especially as long as you approach without any real expectations and accept it for the simple and visually stylish film that it is.
The 3D Blu-ray release of ‘Gods of Egypt’ features a full 1080p High Definition MVC encoded 3D presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The 3D video presentation looks pretty decent as a whole and delivers a fairly clean and detailed three dimensional picture throughout, with no issues to speak of aside from some minor crosstalk in a couple of brief instances. It provides plenty of depth as it spans the world(s) within and some notable effects which look exceptional as they pop out of the screen amidst the battle sequences and many other moments. While by no means overly spectacular or one of the years best, the 3D presentation nonetheless contributes a great deal more fun to the viewing experience.
The 2D Blu-ray release which is also included in the 3D Blu-ray combo pack features an AVC encoded full high definition video presentation also representing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. While I only skimmed through the 2D video presentation for comparison purposes, every scene viewed delivered an exceptional video presentation with no notable faults to be found within.
Overall, while both versions look fantastic, the 3D video presentation would have to be my preference (as is commonly the case). Its ability to display in depth and detail the visually gorgeous elements of the film and the added level of enjoyment it provides in even the dullest of moments easily makes it the version of the film I would select for any subsequent viewings.
The Blu-ray release (both the 3D & 2D disc) features a DTS: X (DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the 7.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack delivers a wildly aggressive and enjoyable audio presentation from start to finish. Aggressively utilizing all seven available channels in order to send masses of soldiers storming, flying ships (and gods) whipping about, the clashes of epic battles and a great deal more, while never resulting in any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted, let alone rendered inaudible. Overall, this is an impressive DTS: X (DTS-HD MA 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack that should easily thrill the casual viewer and audiophile alike.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Gods of Egypt’ includes a few solid extras, the entirety of which can be found on the 2D Blu-ray disc. Included on the release are a couple of ‘Deleted Storyboards’ from the film (running approximately 6 minutes combined), along with over an hour of Behind the Scenes Featurettes that explore in detail different aspects of bringing the film to life, each including behind the scenes footage and interviews/comments with the cast and crew. The included Featurettes are: ‘A Divine Vision: Creating a Cinematic Action Fantasy’ (running approximately 12 minutes), ‘Of Gods and Mortals: The Cast’ (approximately 11 minutes), ‘Transformation: Costume, Make-up and Hair’ (11 minutes), ‘On Location: Shooting in Australia’ (13 minutes), ‘The Battle for Eternity: Stunts’ (12 minutes), and ‘A Window into Another World: Visual Effects’ (11 minutes).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. It should additionally be noted that for the purpose of convenience, the images present for this specific release represent the 2D version of the film, even though the review itself covers the 3D version. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 6/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
‘Gods Of Egypt’ Arrives On 4K Ultra HD, 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray & DVD May 31, 2016 & is Now Available On Digital HD From Summit Entertainment & Lionsgate Home Entertainment.
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