October 10, 2014
Movie Night: Beowulf (2007).
Review #648: Beowulf.
Ray Winstone (Beowulf), Anthony Hopkins (Hrothgar), Angelina Jolie (Grendel's mother), John Malkovich (Uniferth), Brendan Gleeson (Wiglaf), Robin Wright Penn (Queen Wealtheow), Crispin Glover (Grendel), and Alison Lohman (Ursula) Directed by Robert Zemeckis (#317 - The Polar Express, #352 - Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and #581 - Forrest Gump)
It is somewhat weird for me to write a review of a movie I also had to write a compare and contrast essay about, but here we are. Beowulf is a classic tale from long ago that inspired many tropes of heroism in other stories, which is why it has had a few adaptations over the years, like The 13th Warrior, or even the 1999 version of Beowulf, along with spin offs such as Grendel (and the film of it as well), but this movie is something of its own. Motion capture animation is hit and miss when it comes to scenes, at times it can look good, like the battle scenes but other times it looks a bit off-putting, such as closeup shots of characters looking more like a 90's interactive adventure story. The actors are at least entertaining, they seem to have a grasp on making these character interesting, though the character motivations and the plot itself is changed significantly. The idea to have Beowulf be a flawed man is either a brilliant way to make the plot seem more interesting, or just disappointing that they couldn't follow the story even in motivations.
At least the characters are given more screen time to develop, though the story sometimes seems more like a telenovela then an action film. At least the film has moments that are pretty fun to watch, the scene at the end is pretty good, I like how the movie doesn't hold back on the action/violence, and even though the movie has its silly moments (the beginning scenes are a bit odd to watch), it at least is an entertaining movie. Is it a movie that's true to the story? Not really, the whole subplot of Grendel's mother has a few new subplots and the movie ends on an ambiguous note, whereas the story ended on outright victory. I guess the movie's quality depends on your relation to the story and if you can let changes not affect your perception of the movie. I thought it was just okay, but at least it tried to be an entertaining movie, and it probably did a better job at doing that then the other two Beowulf films I mentioned earlier, which I guess is a good thing.
Overall, I give it 6 out of 10 stars.