Friday, November 16, 2007
Movie Reviews: BEOWULF
Based on the legendary epic poem, the great warrior Beowulf (Ray Winstone) must destroy the evil creature Grendel (Crispin Glover) who is terrorizing the Scandinavian countryside. And if that isn't difficult enough, Beowulf must also kill the monster's mommy (Angelina Jolie).
Cast Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, John Malkovich, Robin Wright, Brendan Gleeson, Crispin Glover (more)
Director(s) Robert Zemeckis
Writer(s) Neil Gaiman, Roger Avary
Status In theaters (wide)
Release Date Nov. 16, 2007
Running Time 115 minutes
MPAA Rating PG-13 - for intense sequences of violence including disturbing
images, some sexual material and nudity
Beowulf is a technical marvel that mostly achieves a near perfect level of excitement and spectacle throughout. Wonderful to look at from start to finish, Beowulf's near photo realistic motion capture is a feast for the eyes. From its opening scenes to the wonderfully jarring opening battles with Grendel to the fantastic finale atop a marauding dragon, Beowulf captures your attention and doesn't release it. Robert Zemeckis has crafted a fun, if very bloody, throwback to old school monster movies. I got the feeling watching this film that if this weren't an animated film it would have received an R rating, there's lots of blood and nudity, even a fun little Austin Powers' like visual game of hiding Beowulf's digital manhood. The real achievement here is that on occasion Zemeckis will present us with a few scenes that don't rely on flash but instead are just great character moments. It always helps when you have excellent voice acting from your cast. Ray Winstone provides a great sense of power and strength to his boastful Beowulf. Anthony Hopkins and Brendan Gleeson really shine in supporting roles providing excellent performances. Angelina Jolie pretty much recycles her "accent" from Alexander and adds a bit more slithery-ness to it. While the film is mostly a great experience, the mostly excellent motion capture sometimes doesn't look as perfect and it can get a bit distracting. Also, some of the dialogue comes off as really hokey. Still as a whole, this very loose retread of everyone's high school home work will delight.