Hollywood is nothing if not consistent – so goes the positive spin that can be placed upon the release of the third trailer for the upcoming Gods Of Egypt. Mythological action-adventure rarely works out well on the big screen – least of all those attempts that are blatantly white-washed – and yet, the studios continue to churn them out. In fact, this trend is so inexplicably persistent, that we could almost be forgiven for thinking that the mainstream filmmaking industry perhaps knows something we don’t – that eventually, we’ll acquiesce and develop an appreciation for these movies, if we would only give it another try.
And so, in spite of Clash Of The Titans, Prince Of Persia, Exodus: Gods And Kings – and all those poorly realised mythology-based movies that went before them – we have Gods Of Egypt. The film is directed by Alex Proyas (Knowing), and written by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless (Dracula Untold).
“In this spectacular action-adventure inspired by the classic mythology of Egypt, the survival of mankind hangs in the balance as an unexpected mortal hero Bek [Brenton Thwaites] undertakes a thrilling journey to save the world and rescue his true love. In order to succeed, he must enlist the help of the powerful god Horus [Nikolaj Coster-Waldau] in an unlikely alliance against Set [Gerard Butler], the merciless god of darkness, who has usurped Egypt’s throne, plunging the once peaceful and prosperous empire into chaos and conflict. As their breathtaking battle against Set and his henchmen takes them into the afterlife and across the heavens, both god and mortal must pass tests of courage and sacrifice if they hope to prevail in the epic final confrontation.”
Now, don’t get me wrong, there are a great deal of excellent storytelling opportunities to be found throughout the mythologies of every civilization – it’s just that, historically, Hollywood has not done them justice. Looking at this latest trailer for Gods Of Egypt, that history is likely to remain unchanged by this effort.
There’s a big, dramatic soundtrack, and lots of fancy camerawork – but even in this preview footage, we can see the shortcomings in some of the effects shots. There are lots of giant creatures to be slayed, and a smattering of humour – but this does little to differentiate Gods Of Egypt from any other film of similar subject matter that has graced the big screen in years past. Adding to that sense of familiarity is Gerard Butler as the God, Set – prowling around in costume while yelling in such a way that we expect him to say, “This is Sparta!”
Indeed, the fact that Gods Of Egypt features no Egyptian performers in its cast is a massive problem – but this trailer suggests it is potentially one of many. The film will be released in theatres on February 26th 2016, at which point, all will become clear.