Alex Proyas (shown at right and no slouch in the "great visuals" department: The Crow; Dark City; I, Robot) and written by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless (who also gave us the underrated Dracula Untold), the movie reminded me most of the rightly famous and now-classic 1940 film The Thief of Baghdad. Granted, it is nowhere near as special as that movie, but it does indeed adhere to many of the tropes, themes and fine style of the Michael Powell/Ludwig Berger/Tim Whelan film.
Brenton Thwaites (above, center, right) as the film's delightful Sabu-like hero, Bek? The flying carpets and genie of the early film may have been replaced by today's special effects (the effects here really are quite special), but their use remains in the service of telling a fine story about the importance of love, quests, gods, mortals, life, death and, of course, doing the right thing. (That's the willowy and gorgeous Courtney Eaton -- center, left, above -- who plays Thwaites' love interest.)
Gerard Butler (above, left) and Elodie Yung (above, right) to Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (below, right)
Geoffrey Rush, who plays Ra, the Sun God who must spend his days fighting off a very naughty, cloud-with-teeth-like monster from who-knows-where. (Mr. Rush handles this with his usual exemplary aplomb.)
Marvel franchises -- Iron Man, Avengers, Spiderman -- or much worse, that ridiculous abs-and-attitude movie, 300, in which all the backdrops looks almost the same. (One of the more special of the effects has to do with how much larger the gods register on-screen than do the humans -- even if, occasionally, the scale does seem a bit "off.")
Lionsgate, that this would turn into another HungerGames/Divergent franchise. I guess not. But maybe there will be an after-life on home video, once cult world-of-mouth takes hold. Click here to find out where these Gods are playing near you.