Monday, June 27, 2016

Gods of Egypt: too self-indulgent for my taste

In an alternative Egypt, the world is flat and gods live among mortal humans. The Egyptian gods are distinguished from humans by their greater height, golden blood, and ability to transform into animal-headed deity forms.

Bek (Brenton Thwaites), a mortal thief with little faith in gods and their good will towards mortals, with his love Zaya (Courtney Eaton) are attending the coronation of Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), lord of the air, by his father, the abdicating King of Egypt Osiris (Bryan Brown). Horus is shown getting ready for his coronation as his love Hathor (Élodie Yung) surprises him. Horus hints at marriage and they discuss Hathor's protection bracelet made of the stars which Horus gave to her to protect and save her from her previous role as a guide to dead souls in the underworld.

However, during the ceremony Osiris is killed by his jealous brother Set (Gerard Butler), god of the desert, who seizes the throne and declares a new regime where the dead will have to pay with riches to pass into the afterlife. Horus is stripped of his eyes, which are the source of his power, and almost killed. Hathor pleads with Set to spare him and he is instead exiled. Hathor becomes an enslaved mistress to Set.

A year later Bek has been working as a slave building monuments, while Zaya is now under the ownership of the chief architect Urshu (Rufus Sewell). Believing that Horus is the only one who can defeat Set, she gives Bek the floorplans to Set's treasure vault. Bek is able to steal back one of Horus' eyes . However, Urshu finds out about their theft and kills Zaya as the couple flee.

Bek takes her body to the blind Horus and makes a bargain: Horus agrees to bringing Zaya back from the dead for his eye and Bek will share his knowledge about Set's pyramid.

Later, they are traveling to Ra's (Geoffrey Rush) divine vessel above the Earth. Horus is unable to convince Ra to grant him his power in full or to intervene and defeat Set himself, as Ra is both neutral about their conflict and daily at war with an enormous shadow beast, Apophis, that threatens to devour the world. Nevertheless, Horus obtains divine waters from Ra's vessel, which can be used at Set's pyramid to extinguish the desert thirst and weaken him gravely. Ra tells Horus that his weakness is the result of him not fulfilling his destiny, which Horus believes means avenging his parents' deaths.

Set asks Hathor to take him to the underworld which he next desires to conquer, but she refuses and manages to escape. Eventually, Hathor finds Bek and Horus. Horus at first doesn't trust her, as she is Set's mistress who had blinded him, while she tries to convince him that Set is her enemy as well. When they tell her of their plan regarding Set's pyramid, she warns them of a guardian sphinx who will kill anyone not wise enough to solve a riddle. The group then heads to the library of Thoth (Chadwick Boseman) the god of wisdom, recruiting him to solve the riddle.

Arriving at Set's shrine, they overcome its traps, including the sphinx, to reach the source of Set's power. But before they can pour the divine water in, Set traps them and reveals Horus' deception to Bek: that he is unable to bring Zaya back from the dead. Set destroys their flask of divine water and kills Thoth by taking his brain, but Horus is able to save Hathor and Bek.

Horus admits before the enraged Bek to caring more about his revenge than the mortals. Hathor feels guilt for not exposing the deception, and as the goddess of love helps the doomed lovers. She sacrifices her own safety for Zaya's payment into the afterlife, by giving Bek the protective bracelet which stops the underworld souls from overwhelming her and calling Anubis to take him to Zaya. Therefore, she lets herself be dragged to the underworld, while Horus realizes that he still loves her.

Having obtained Thoth's brain, Osiris's heart, one of Horus's eyes and wings from Nephthys (Emma Booth), Set has them combined with himself. Set travels to Ra, appealing to his father for approval and asking why Osiris was favored, while he was denied leadership and children. Ra claims that all of Set's prior maltreatment were tests preparing Set for his true role, the honor and burden of taking Ra's place as the defender of the world aboard his solar barge fighting against the demon Apophis. Set is dismayed to hear his destiny is to be alone above the planet until he dies, and refuses. He wants to destroy the afterlife so that he can be immortal. Ra tries to fight him, but cannot, as Set has taken the powers of the other gods. He then stabs Ra, taking his fiery spear of power, and casts him off the boat, freeing Apophis to consume both the mortal and underworld realms.

Bek finds Zaya who refuses Hathor's gift as she doesn't want an afterlife without Bek, but then Apophis attacks and the gate to the afterlife is closed. Bek returns to the mortal world where Horus is amazed that Bek still wants to help take down Set, but Bek tells him it was Zaya who told him to, as she still has faith in Horus.

Horus climbs up the outer wall of an obelisk Set is standing on and attempts to battle him, but is heavily outmatched. Bek ascends on the inside and joins the battle removing Horus's stolen eye from Set's armor, being wounded in the process. As Bek slides toward the edge of the obelisk, he throws the eye toward Horus who must choose to catch it or save Bek instead. Horus reaches for Bek and apologizes for all he has put him through. As they plummet toward the ground, Horus finds that he now has the power to transform into his divine form, and he catches Bek and flies him to safety. Horus realizes that it wasn't the recovery of his eye or revenge that was his destiny, it was the protection of his people that he needed to fight for. Now Horus has the strength for battling Set, and he gains the obelisk and kills him. After the battle and Set's death, he then finds Ra wounded and floating in space and returns his spear to him, allowing Ra to once again repel Apophis.

As Horus returns to Bek, a child holds out his other eye which she has found, while people cheer him. But Horus's joy turns to sadness as he arrives to find Bek dying. Horus carries him to Osiris's tomb and lays him beside Zaya. Ra, his grandfather, arrives and offers to bestow any power on him to repay Horus for his life and Egypt's survival, but all Horus wants is bringing Bek and Zaya back to life. The other gods are also revived and have their attributes restored. Horus is crowned king by Thoth and declares the afterlife will be for those who do good in the world. Bek is made chief advisor, and he gives Horus back Hathor's bracelet, letting Horus leave to rescue her from the underworld.

i rather dislike some of the plots. i mean, it was too convenient at times when the Horus-Bek pair triumphed against their adversaries. plus the villain looks decent, not too menacing yet is too detestable in action. nampak muka Set baik je, tau tak!

but Zaya and Hathor both are beautiful, i grant you guys that. as for Ra, the premise of his power is so laughable. how can he be the omnipotent when he couldn't even banish Apophis for good? in the words of Hulk, "puny god!"

i mean, Hollywood has been making movies about Gods and Demigods, be it Greek, Egyptian and whatnot, still, the Gods of their imagination put on screen are full of weakness and sometimes depravities. how ever can we worship that?

think about that. surely there must be the Greatest Power that exist to create us mere mortals and He must be free of all weakness that we have. Because if there is a sign of weakness, of being in need of something, there is no reason for him to be worshiped, for that is no god indeed. and the issue of many gods.. how can that be? i mean, as shown in this movie, too many gods will lead to instability and fighting. there must be only one God, and He is just as well as omnipotent, free from any weaknesses, worthy to be worshiped by all that He creates. nothing at all like Ra or Zeus, for that matter.

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