Review: Beowulf

Beowulf 02Image by Nick Slide via Flickr

Hey all…

I had an opportunity to see Beowulf the other day, in 3D no less… And it was as I feared, over-hyped, underwhelming, and generally just ok. Were there things to like? Sure… Was it the greatest cinema ever? Not even close.


The last time we had a computer generated person on the big screen, it was Gollum. Lord of the Rings showed us it was possible to not only have an actor digitized into something else, but that it was worth the effort if it moved the characters and story forward in a meaningful way.

To some degree, I have to say I was amazed at the quality of the animation. That is until I saw the horses run. Every time I saw a horse in the movie, I was pulled out of the scene and giggling.

And you’d think Angelina Jolie would be beautiful as a monster. And you’d be right, but though she’s got a nice form, I didn’t need to see it several times during the movie. Same with Ray Winstone‘s Beowulf character. He seemed to shun clothes. And though some of the fight scenes were cool, seeing his bare butt didn’t do anything for me.

So am I ragging on this film? Maybe a little. It’s a good attempt. But even though the people were done pretty realistically (almost too real in some places), I just saw it as eye candy and not much more.

The script was well written (Neil Gaiman, one of my favorites). And Robert Zemeckis is a world class director.

But the movie just never really came together for me. I grew tired of the 3D effects pretty quickly, though they were neat for a while. And the dragon at the end (you’ll know him when you see him) was probably my favorite animated critter (though some of the sea monsters were kind of cyclopean piranha , which was kind of cool).

It boils down to the fact that I should have trusted my gut when I saw the trailers (everywhere… sigh) and they didn’t really do much for me. The latest Resident Evil movie trailers did more for me than Beowulf, and that’s not saying much.

So I’ll give this movie a solid 2 out of 4 stars. Is it worth seeing? Rent it. Hopefully the technology will continue to improve and someday we can have one of these CGI movies that really sucks me in!


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