Beowulf – An Army of One

Beowulf     B-

Starring Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, and Angelina Jolie
Directed by Robert Zemeckis (Forest Gump)
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence including disturbing images, some sexual material and nudity
Appropriate for ages 15+

The Story: Loosely based on the epic poem that most of us were forced to read in high school, Beowulf follows the adventures of the titular hero as he fights his way through medieval Denmark.  First he must battle the powerful demon Grendel, only to find Grendel’s mother is an even more difficult foe. 

The Good: Director Zemeckis uses here the same style of motion-capture animation he used in his Christmas tale Polar Express.  The years have been good to the technology and the look of the film is stunning.  If you really want to see the best possible version of the film, take the 90-minute drive to Houston and see it in 3-D IMAX at the Marquee theater on IH-10 and Silber (just get your tickets early on as it certain to sell out all of it’s showings over the next ten days).  The production, overall, is truly excellent and the whole experience is very entertaining.  The dragon fight scene at the end of the film is one of the most amazing and breathtaking action sequences I’ve ever laid eyes on. 

The Bad: I wasn’t so sold on the story, and while it’s not bad, the screenplay drags a bit at times and two hours seems a little long for the material.  Also, while it might be a fun film for teenage boys, it is violent and sensual enough to have garnered an R rating.  While blood was spared to achieve a PG-13, I would have given the flick a stronger rating and advise parents of small children to take them to a different movie.

The Summary: While the pacing could have been better, Beowulf still turns out to be a fun-filled action pic with eye-popping visuals.