Sunday, December 2, 2007

Review: Beowulf

You want me to do WHAT with that horn?

Beowulf (2007)


Robert Zemeckis (Castaway, Forest Gump)


Neil Gaiman [Stardust] (screenplay) &
Roger Avary (screenplay) ...

STORY: Based on an ancient Poem...The warrior Beowulf must fight and defeat the monster Grendel who is terrorizing towns, and later, Grendel's mother, who begins killing out of revenge.


Ray Winstone (The Departed)…Beowulf / Golden Man / Dragon

Robin Wright Penn...Wealthow

Anthony Hopkins... Hrothgar

Angelina Jolie…Grendel’s mother


It seems to me that whenever something famous and well loved is adapted for the big screen by Hollywood it's butchered, or so say those who have studied it or lovingly poured over the source material for hours on end.

To those people I say, do not see this movie. I'm already hearing the shouts from the balcony...the 'poo poos' and 'here heres'...

Beowulf simply tries to appeal to the masses with it's slick 'vision of the future' animation, big *ahem* name nudity in the form of Angelina Jolie, and the battle-cry reminiscent of 300 but in this case instead of "This is Sparta" you have "I am Beowulf". Everything about this movie shouts blockbuster.

However, once you are watching Beowulf you realise for one it is definitely not for kids, and some of the scenes can even disturb adults. You also realise it's not for those history buffs or literature laureates that I mentioned earlier. I think it might even be lost on the common man as the film-makers fail to really drive the point of the story home...the idea that man’s greed will never be satisfied and that he will choose it over logic again and again. The entire film is just too fanciful for Joe Average to comprehend.

Despite the fact Beowulf fails to have a definitive target audience, the animation is very well done but again I had to wonder why they didn’t use real people plus animation…seems like a lot of effort for no reason other than to show off or point out where the future of animation is likely headed. The voice acting in the film is a strong point, with Ray Winstone really selling the title character, who you of course love to hate and hate to love.

Beowulf will certainly become somewhat of a favourite with a few, but is lost on the masses. I believe this movie could have been more intelligent and a bit more obvious in its overall purpose in order to better relate to its audience. I’m giving Beowulf a 2.5/5…even though I didn’t love it, I still liked it.

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