Tag Archives: Gerard Butler

Where’s the Mythology Behind Gods of Egypt?

29 Feb

Gods_of_Egypt_posterBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

I can’t believe the level of hate by movie-goers and critics have for Gods of Egypt is still growing. Not since Fantastic Four has there been such a vile response to a product. The Last Airbender was panned way before it even started pre production. Myself, I have to thank producer Michael Bay for decimating my childhood memories of Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; the bulk of merchandise I see now are based on his work instead of being generation one. With this movie set in an Egyptian-type world, can the director, Alex Proyas, destroy all that I love and admire about Ancient Egypt? I grew up enamoured by the mystique this world represented, especially with its art and myths.

Technically, this film’s plot is a loose interpretation of the story, The Contendings of Horus and Seth. Instead of having a contest of champions, where these deities are tested to see who will be the next King of Egypt, Osiris (Bryan Brown) and Isis (Rachael Blake) are ready to crown Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). However, the always jealous Seth (Gerard Butler) arrives to put a stop to it and kill all the gods. He leads an army who look more like the Persian Immortals from 300 and perhaps that’s the joke everyone is missing. This film is meant to poke fun at mythology instead of being inspired by it. When looking at the mistakes, the film is very silly and mind-numbing, but when looking at the nods to the lore of yore, the connections made will only be familiar to people who knows them.

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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.

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Is there History in 300 Rise of an Empire?

9 Mar

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

The plot thickens in 300: Rise of an Empire. Not only does the story continue after the events of the first film, where King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) led his men to slow down the advancing Persian attack force by bottlenecking them, but also a better historical picture is painted. Viewers do not have to turn to an encyclopedia of Greek History to know just how these films flow back and forth to each another. Historical accuracy is not what these movies is about.

Instead, these films present a phantasmagorical representation of the Greco-Persian War. The main point these movies wants to put forth is to show the people of Greece wanting freedom from all outside oppression. To see the various Greek city-states unite is at the heart of both films are trying to convey, but that plot point can get missed in favour for the visually over the top style of splatterpunk warfare. To see fights draw blood like that from a J-Horror product makes up a huge part of why the 300 saga is so appealing. Viewers who love MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch will enjoy 300 more than a general audience.

However, the grain that made the first movie gritty is sadly ditched in the second and that makes for an uneven product.

At least a few of the characters are further developed in Rise of the Empire. Queen Gorgo is the new leader of the Spartan Empire and Xerxes gets the development so his grudge with the Greeks gets understood. Sadly, their role is secondary to the actual plot of where Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) of Athens is defending his territory from Artemisia (Eva Green) of Caria’s advancing naval force. Tensions between them is more than hot.

It’s practically sizzling, especially for Green’s performance. She makes Goth in the Greek world look scalding. Between her many costume changes, some of which was not needed, and her origin story, this sequel does a better job of creating some savage characters. Family honour is important and when someone dies in this feudal culture, their deaths must be avenged.

Even the original Xerxes is a changed man. After seeing his father, Darius, slain during battle in the first Persian invasion, his descent to madness is finally understood. The world of 300 runs around in circles because everyone has a score to settle. While that does not make for a simple plot, at least the narrative is styled much like how Homer would write the Illiad.

Anyone who does end up looking at what will happen next in the actual conflict will no doubt find that another chapter can be told. As for whether or not that will be made into another movie will depend whether or not director Zack Snyder has the energy to make another film. Xerxes is the type of character who will not accept humiliation and in the history books, there is still the Battle of Plataea to cover.

3 out of 5