The controversial Gods of Egypt has a story made of legends. Enter ancient Egypt, a seeming oasis in the desert thanks to the Nile River and divine protection of the sun god, Ra. Egypt is ruled by the just god, Osiris, Ra’s son, whereas the stinging desert is ruled by Set (Gerard Butler), another of Ra’s sons.
The time has come for Osiris to abdicate his throne and crown his son, Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), the god of the sky and air as ruler. Horus’s coronation is attended by all the gods and celebrated by all their worshipers. However, things take a turn for the worst when Set and his army arrive and take the throne by force. Set kills Osiris and then brutally beats Horus, plunging Egypt into dark days where the mortal populace is enslaved to reshape the nation in his image. All hope seems lost until a mortal man, Bek (Brenton Thwaites), determined to save the woman he loves allies himself with a broken Horus to save not only Egypt, but creation itself.
In mere hours Liongate’s Gods of Egypt will make its cinematic debut. This movie seems to have all the makings of a hit blockbuster with amazing special effects, historic source material, and a star studded cast. Herein lies the conundrum of the film. Although it boasts the name of an African country, and its ancient god, there are hardly any Black actors. In fact the film has made a token of its one Black cast mate, Chadwick Boseman, as the god of truth, Thoth.
The story of the film is thoughtful, riveting, and entertaining but marred by a lack of diversity and the recognition that the Egyptians–past and present–are of African descent. Clearly, Lionsgate learned nothing from the debacle of last year’s Exodus: Gods and Kings film last year. The film estimated to gross a mere $15 million dollars in its opening weekend despite its $140 million dollar budget. This is a lesson to Hollywood. You can catch Gods of Egypt in theaters nationwide.