Australian Council on Children and the Media

Gods of Egypt

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Not recommended under 15 due to violence, disturbing scenes and sexual references.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Gods of Egypt
  • a review of Gods of Egypt completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 1 March 2016.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 15 Not recommended due to violence, disturbing scenes and sexual references

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Gods of Egypt
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Fantasy themes and violence
Length 127 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The god Osiris (Brian Brown) rules over the lands and people of Egypt but is about to hand his crown over to his son Horus, “Lord of the Air”.  (Nikolai Coster-Waldan) However on the day of the coronation, Osiris’s brother, the resentful, jealous and ambitious Set (Gerard Butler) arrives with an army and kills Osiris. Set then defeats Horus in combat, plucks out his eyes (which are the source of Horus’s power) and exiles him.

In the years that follow Set becomes a tyrant, enslaving the masses and murdering all who defy him. Hope arrives in the form of a young mortal named Bek (Brenton Thwaites) and his true love Zaya (Courtney Eaton). Zaya steals plans to the vault where Horus’s eyes are kept and convinces Bek to break into the vault, steal the eyes and return them to Horus, who with his superpowers returned can then defeat Set.

Bek manages to steal one of Horus’s eyes from the vault and escape, but at the cost of Zaya’s life. Bek makes a deal with Horus that, in exchange for his sight, Horus will bring Zaya back from the dead once he has defeated Set. After regaining his sight, Horus sets about taking revenge on Set and stopping the God of Darkness from destroying all of creation.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Egyptian mythology; the supernatural; vengeance; tyranny

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

The film contains extended sequences of intense fantasy violence which are at times brutal and disturbing, although with an unrealistic lack of blood and gore (the gods have gold blood which lessens the impact). Examples include:

  • During a coronation ceremony, the elderly Osiris is stabbed in the stomach. The old man falls to the ground and we see gold coloured blood pooling over the ground while a person presses a cloth against the wound to stop the bleeding.  He takes several gasps and then dies. People on the coronation stage scream while the massive crowd standing in front of the stage erupts in panic, with people screaming and running from the area.  
  • The scene in which Horus’ eyes are plucked out after an extended fight with Set is disturbing. Although the actual plucking out is not shown, golden blood leaks from the fallen god’s empty eye sockets.
  • A young man and young woman recklessly speeding through city streets in an Egyptian chariot. A man standing on a balcony fires an arrow which pierces the young woman in the side of her chest. The young man pulls the arrow from the woman’s chest (no blood and gore is depicted). She says “I’ll love you forever” and dies in his arms.
  • A god grabs a young  man by the throat and lifts him several feet into the air, pinning him to the wall as he struggles.
  • A god battles against five armed minotaurs, punching, kicking and throwing the creatures through the air. He uses his sword to cut and slash at the creatures, cutting into bodies and severing arms and legs. After the battle a pile of dead mutilated creatures and body parts lie on the ground. One of the creatures is speared through the chest, the sword exiting out of its back. In a later scene we see another god use his sword to decapitate a minotaur.       
  • Battle violence includes armies attacking a city with minotaurs and giant elephants that rampage through streets trampling many people. People are slashed and stabbed by swords, with multiple deaths, and there are explosions and fires.
  • A god argues with his wife and she grows wings out of her back and attempts to fly off. Her husband grabs her by the wings and uses his sword to hack them off and throw them on the floor. The actual cutting of the wings occurs off screen but we hear her scream out.
  • Two giant cobras being ridden by goddesses attack a god and a young man. Fire spews from the snakes’ mouths and they lash out with their fangs, taking giant size bites out of buildings. One snake is killed when stabbed from underneath, and the rider is strangled with a whip. The second snake and rider are set on fire and explode in flames.   
  • A god overpowers and kills another god, tearing out his brain and holding it up in victory.
  • A father and son fight each other with long spears that shoot fire and flames. The son then uses his spear to impale his father through the chest and flames shoot from his back.
  • In one of the film's more gruesome scenes a god wounded in battle drags himself along the ground trailing a large pool of golden blood behind him. A second god approaches the wounded god and spears him through the chest; the god’s body disintegrates.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

Most of this film would be very scary for children this age. There are many scary giant gods and mythical creatures such as minotaurs, giant elephants, giant scorpions and beetles, cobras with mouths full of sharp fangs. The gods transform into scary creatures with bird or dog characteristics and armoured statues become animated. The chaos demon is depicted as a giant maw filled with razor sharp teeth which can devour the whole of creation.

 

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group would also be disturbed by the above-mentioned violent and scary scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group would also be disturbed by many of the above-mentioned violent and scary scenes.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Younger children in this age group may also be disturbed by the above-mentioned violent and scary scenes.

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

The film contains sexual references and innuendo scattered throughout. Examples include:

  • A woman makes a reference to having always satisfied a man to which the man replies with “Satisfy me now”.
  • A god makes reference to a goddess having been given “plenty” (of sexual attributes) to which the goddess replies, “You never complained”. The same goddess then says “I can make any man or beast do my bidding”
  • In one scene a woman asks a man if he prefers the rear view of her body over the front to which the man responds “Well yes I do”; we see the woman turn around and walk away, the camera depicting a view of the woman’s clothed buttocks.  
  • A god tells his goddess wife that no amount of women will satisfy him, especially not her alone.  

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • In one scene we see the silhouette of a naked woman standing behind a screen, her breasts, thighs and buttocks clearly outlined.
  • Women wear tight and revealing clothing throughout the film
  • A man sits naked in a bath (we see his bare torso). A woman (fully clothed) sitting next to the bath caresses his bare chest and he playfully pulls her into the bath on top of him and kisses her on the lips. 
  • A man enter a woman’s bedroom and we see them lying on the bed kissing passionately. The scene cuts to the pair lying naked underneath the covers, the implication being that they have had sex. His bare chest and abdomen are visible as are her shoulders, back and top of her buttocks. Her long hair coves her naked breasts. 

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Men drink from gold cups.
  • A woman pours wine from a jug into a glass and sips the wine.

Coarse language

The film contains some occasional low-level coarse language and name calling. Examples include:

  • “bloody hounds”, “get off your arse”
  • thief, toad, stupid, madman, lazy. 

In a nutshell

Gods of Egypt is an epic action fantasy that targets adolescent males and is likely to attract younger teenage boys.  It has received a number of negative reviews for an uninteresting story line, bad acting and poor dialogue. At 127 minutes, it is also very long. The many violent and scary scenes and characters make it unsuitable for children and young teens. Parents may also be concerned about the sexual references and attitudes to women displayed in the film. It deserves its M rating and is not recommended for viewers under 15.

The main messages from this movie are:

  • When you stray from your path you become weak.
  • Protecting and caring for people is more important than seeking revenge.
  • How we act in life matters and rewards must be achieved by doing good deeds.

Parents may wish to discuss how the film depicts women - the manner in which the film objectifies women as sexual objects, and how this depiction could impact on young viewers.   

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