I recall the yesteryears of high school days walking into my Honors English class preparing to read the Old English heroic epic poem, Beowulf. A great hero who battles three monsters, sounded like an interesting story. My early perception of the poem was completely false as the story was totally dull and lifeless. Coming into this film expecting the story to have improved under the visual expertise of Robert Zemeckis after his brilliance in The Polar Express, I had high hopes for this film. My hopes for a better story then the dreadful poem were dashed from the get go.
The story is probably known by most so there is no reason to retell it around these parts, as I don’t want to bore you; that was already accomplished in the film. The film deals with a legend composed for entertainment and does not separate between fictional elements and real historic events.
The animation too often is a distraction as the animated versions of the actors cannot provide emotion or even basic facial differentials like the real actors. As a result, we receive flat performances from the likes of Anthony Hopkins, Angelina Jolie, Robin Wright Penn, Ray Winstone, and especially John Malkovich, who seemed to give little to no emotion to his character. Overall, the visuals were fantastic in comparison to a real-time, real-life motion picture.
Coming into this film, it was unknown that so much sexual innuendo would be accessible throughout the film. The character of Beowulf fights and defeats Grendel completely in the nude, his privates being perfectly covered throughout the entire scene which resembled the opening credits from Austin Powers – The Spy Who Shagged Me.
This film was a major disappointment falling back too much on motion capture technology or ridiculously over-the-top action sequences which were neither engaging or death-defying. After being incredibly impressed with Robert Zemeckis’ motion capture technique in The Polar Express, I had high hopes dashed after viewing this film. I found myself bored and wanting much more.