Here's my review:
|The movie starts out with as much nudity as a PG-13 movie can offer. Since every trailer has the promise of a CGI Angelina Jolie naked, it was quite obvious that they needed the same kind of fan service for the ladies, right? To be honest, you see much more animated man booty, not only from Ray Winstone, but also from Anthony Hopkins as well. So, this is all you need to know about the first part of the movie, that is, during the sequence in the past: Beowulf is naked, The King of Denmark is wearing nothing but a single cloth, and Grendelís Mama is covered in some strange gold stuff. However, thatís not what the movie is supposed to be about. During the first half of the movie, The King of Denmarkís super special bar place is attacked by a monster named Grendel. People die, Beowulf comes, lobs his arm off, and somehow Grendel dies. Yay. After that, Beowulf goes to confront Grendelís mother to kill her, but gets freaky with her. In return, she devises a plan to make him the new king.
If youíre dieing to see this movie, and I wouldnít see why, you probably wouldnít want me ruining the second half for you, but Iíll basically say that shit hits the fan, and more people die. If you already read the epic poem, though, you can probably guess what happens. I couldnít, I never found a copy of it, so I donít know the credibility of my own previous statement. Either way, I probably would have enjoyed it much more actually reading it than watching it.
The ambiance is that of a Lord of the Rings style medieval setting. This isnít really a bad thing, either. The story does seem to fit adequately enough with the snowy battlefields from Danish plains. Also, thereís a bridge. My only issue with this is that the story doesnít seem that epic, since itís so centrally located in this one place, the same small bridge, the same bar, the same cave. Things hardly changed over what seemed like a 10-20 year gap between the two parts of the film. It seemed like they didnít want to spring any more cash on extra landscapes with their nifty little CGI. Then again, itís not like that was much of an issue, really.
If thereís anything about the movie thatís noteworthy, besides itís graphics which after a while seemed more annoying than cool, itís that the action was pretty good. During the swimming contest and fight with the dragon scenes, the movie gave off feeling that was a combination of Shadow of the Collossus and God of War. The fight with Grendel annoyed me more than anything else, only because the attention was deliberately taken away from the fighting, and focused completely on the fact that our protagonist was bare assed naked. They did this with as many cheap camera tricks as they could think of, especially ones that involved covering his crotch area with items that were in center focus on the screen. Aside from that, though, if you want action, this movie has itís fair share.
What killed the movie was the fact that all the characters not only told lame jokes, but they all lacked any real personality, especially John Malkovichís character. Everyone seemed so cliche, the big and badass protagonist, the female lead that, of course, just falls for him, and what movie would be complete without an overweight raspy voiced sidekick? This is the movieís downfall, itís lack of subtlety and personality in each and every character. The plot is paper thin, and easily predictable. It does try a few things, like itís use of irony in the arm that Beowulf chops off being the same one he tore off of Grendel, but other than that, it was seriously lacking.
As stated before, Beowulf isnít that bad. It is quite watchable, but it isnít that well done either. Sure, if you see it in 3D, you may have much more fun with the action. Otherwise, you arenít missing anything if you donít see this movie. If youíve already seen anything else you wanted to see, or you need a quick action fix, be my guest and see Beowulf. However, if youíre expecting some amazing cinematic experience, youíll be sorely dissapointed.