The Gods of Egypt Go to War, A Trailer Analysis

17 Nov

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

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Lionsate Entertainment unveiled a trailer for the upcoming movie, Gods of Egypt, and purists of what this pantheon represents will be upset. They can go on an uproar Feb 26, 2016.

Until then and based on the images shown, this movie is nothing more than a mash-up of the movie Stargate (which has better armour designs) and the video game God of War (perhaps with a bit of Tomb Raider mixed in). There are bits of mythology tossed into the narrative — the plot revolves around the ongoing feud between Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Seth (Gerard Butler). The trailer shows Horus losing his eye and Bek a thief (Brenton Thwaites) goes to retrieve it. As for how much more the movie’s plot remains faithful to that legend, when Horus regains his eye and presents it to his father, Osiris, to symbolize the sacrifice he did to regaining power, that remains to be seen.

Nearly every deity — Hathor, Thoth and Ra — are revealed this film. The only exceptions are Osiris and Isis. Egyptologists versed in the Osiris Myth will wonder just how much of that tale will make up the basis of this movie.

Before naysayers shout out the problem of using American, Australian, Scottish and Danish performers, let’s consider the fact that Seth is a god of foreign matters. He is also a god of storms — a detail the trailer fully gets across — and had many wives. If these gods are super powered people from other lands, to see them come to this country to take on mythical roles makes sense. In the novelization of Stargate, aliens decided to take on the roles from Egyptian scripture to create fear so the locals can be turned into slaves. At least this similiarity must be noted.

seth

Egyptologists will point out that for this lead villain (Butler), his first wife is Nephthys. Harems exist and as the film credits suggest in the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) entry, Abbey Lee to play Anat, another wife to this King of Lower Egypt. This film is not meant to be historical and it may show how this country becomes united. In some ways, this trailer looks like Hollywood’s attempt to make their own version of the Japanese hit, Attack on Titan.

Two other quick moments in the trailer suggest a possible expansion of the lore. The scene includes four bull-like creatures implying Egypt has their own version of the Minotaur as they leap up a waterfall. The Nile is an important backdrop and that’s good to see this film address this fact.

In another scene, the arms reaching around Elodie Yung (Hathor) is very scarab-like. It gives her a Kali-like mysticism. Perhaps Anubis has called his ghoulish minions to pull her away from the threat she is looking at as she is fighting against the vortex in the following frames. The artistic direction looks magical, but will that help this movie that is getting purists fuming?

armswidehathor

Action and adventure will be first and forefront over any accuracy. Is the trailer exciting? Yes. It’s silly in a The Mummy meets Transformers style of way. Michael Bay must be proud. This movie is popcorn entertainment. It’s hard to argue against the wonder experienced when watching a movie about the ancient Egyptian world on the big screen. The architecture and drama that existed, especially in Rameses’ time needs to be seen and told. The life of King Tut is always on how he died and who will succeed him to restore order to a troubled kingdom. After all, he had to deal with the aftermath of Akhenaten’s (his father) attempt to bring monothesiam to the fore. Cleopatra deserves her own Anthony because of their relationship’s timeless appeal. As for other important figures, its unlikely Hatshepsut will get noticed in North America for historical dramas. These two female figures are promienent in trying to bring order to a troubled kingdom. When history is dumped, the only thing left is to look at what Egyptian mythical tales are worth telling on-screen.

The pyramids were not built overnight and neither was this film. Let’s just take it for what it is — nonsensical fun!

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