Movie Stats & Links
||Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins,
John Malkovich, Rogin Wright Penn, Angelina Jolie
||It should really
be rated R.
||Only if she likes
||Would have been
better in real life.
video-game-ish, there was a ton of it.
||The dragon scene
at the end.
||A chuckle here and
questioning of Beowulf about how Beowulf got away from
||Jack Rapke, Steve
Starkey, Robert Zemeckis
I love technology, and I love CGI for the most part, but
so far, between
"The Polar Express" and now "Beowulf," I
still canít stand performance capture movies. I guess Iíll
get more into that later, letís first get to the story of
A Movie Review
If I ever had to read "Beowulf" I must have really hated
it because I have absolutely no recollection of the story.
Pretty much, though, the movie gives us Hrothgar (Anthony
Hopkins) as King of some land up in Viking land. Heís an old
dude, but has a younger wife, Wealthow (Robin Wright Penn).
Even though Hrothgar brags about his killing a dragon,
thereís this strange creature, Grendel (Cripsin Glover), who
really doesnít like the singing going on in town so he
attacks it a lot. The King is finally fed up and says that
the town will no longer have any fun, so as not to have
Grendel come back, and that they need a hero to kill the
Enter Beowulf (Ray Winstone).
Beowulf's some kind of badass who has heard that the land has
a creature to slay, and he and his men are just the people
to slay it. Of course knowing that those who have tried to
kill Grendel have used various weapons to no avail, Beowulf
figures itís best to fight the beast in his birthday suit,
with his willy hidden by various objects, reminiscent of
"Austin Powers." And so Beowulf kills Grendel and now
Grendelís Mother (Angelina Jolie) is both pissed but also
looking for some loviní and a new son. Beowulf, in the
meantime, is looking to stop the violence, and maybe a
kingdom wouldnít hurt, so hey, he takes one for the team.
Beowulf eventually becomes King, replacing Hrothgar, and
his reign is pretty benign, with his folks pretty much
running roughshod over neighboring regions, but then some
things change, Grendelís Mother is pissed again, and now a
dragon threatens to destroy Beowulfís kingdom, or at least
kill his Queen Wealthow (she became his when Hrothgar died),
and his young hottie to sleep with girl, I believe she was
Ursula (Alison Lohman). So itís up to Beowulf to save the
day, and hopefully, once and for all, remove the curse from
In its premise "Beowulf" had so much potential to
captivate me the same way I loved "300," but damn, I just
canít get over the performance capture look that just gives
the film cartoonish feel, like Iím watching a video game.
For me I would have liked to see Robin Wright Penn in real
life as the Queen, maybe Ray Winstone wouldnít be buff
enough but I think heíd still be good in real life as
Beowulf, and the animation work they did for Angelina Jolie,
well, they might as well just had her there in real life,
and I think Unferthís character (he was in line to be King
until Beowulf came along) would have been better played by a
real John Malkovich. Hell, it even would have been better
seeing Anthony Hopkins old-man butt when his toga-thing
almost falls off rather than the cartoon version.
The only thing I guess "Beowulf" being "animated" helped
was the fact that the MPAA, in its still bizarre wisdom,
let a movie that had tons of violence, lots of people
getting pulled apart, lots of talk about sex (although no
one dropped the F-bomb), general debauchery, and Angelina Jolie might at well have been naked for real because the
only thing missing from her character when it came out of
the water were some nipples and a landing strip, be rated
PG-13. I guess even when the line between real and cartoon
becomes as close as "Beowolf" put it, being a cartoon lets
you get away with a lot more.
As much as the look of the movie bugged me and really
disconnected me from the story, I went to see this version
of "Beowulf" in 3-D, and I will give props to 3-D technology
because it has become incredible, but so far itís been
limited to cartoon movies, of which "Beowulf" technically is
(though there was a preview for "Journey to the Center of
the Earth" next year, with real people, that looks very
cool). If you do see this movie do yourself a favor and
spend the extra two bucks (which I donít really understand
because I didnít get to keep the glasses) to at least be a
In the end "Beowulf" just didnít wrap me in to a movie
that done in real life, and just going balls out for the R
rating like "300" did, well, it probably could have been
fantastic for me. As such Iíve got to only give the movie 2
stars out of 5. The only reason I can tell you to see this
movie is for the 3-D version because it will give you a
glimpse of the future of movies.
Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!!