Beowulf has a spot somewhere in my brain where I file information I learnt in school (it’s in the back under some dusty books and covered in cobwebs if I’m not mistaken) -where I remember it fondly as one of the ‘cooler stories’ that I had to read as a fifth grader. Its sad that I remember enjoying reading anything more than a movie, but unfortunately this is decidedly the case with Beowulf.
The stage is set with a wide pan starting in the great gathering hall, zooming out over the snowcapped rooftops of the Nordic village. We further zoom out over a river, some trees, some more trees, and probably another river maybe some more trees. Sad thing is, that while pretty much everyone watching the film is trying to busy their mind thinking about where the movie is slowly going, the answer is ‘absolutely nowhere’.
The character models are rather lifeless and move more like the humanoid characters in Shrek. Facial features are impressive but primarily while the characters don’t speak. The original story is also scrapped in favor of a more ‘sleeping with Angelina Jolie and giving birth to golden dragon boys’-approach which would be fine if it worked. Incidentally it doesn’t. Beowulf himself resorts to bellowing “I…AM…BEOWULF” numerous times throughout the movie in a very King Leoniodus tone. I imagine its supposed add some sort of quotability and drama to the film, but in all honesty it comes across as a friendly wakeup call to people who have fallen asleep and/or forgot what they are watching.
My main issue with the movie is that it does nothing new, and simply steals from other material without improving upon it in anyway. The fight scenes are stripped directly from Krato’s duels God of War. The art direction is clearly heavily influenced by 300 and Lord of The Rings. and the character design is a pale attempt at mimicking the Final Fantasy movie that came out over 6 years ago. A close second on my ‘issues’ list would be that the film is simply too long and doesn’t reward the viewers for the effort required to make it to the end. The ending had many people groaning as we left the theater, not even digitized Angelina-Jolie-boobs can save this one.