Old, Repurposed Movie Review: Beowulf
November 16, 2007
Beowulf is really a lot of fun. My first concern going in, having already had a headache off and on for the past few days, was the IMAX 3D making it worse. Strangely, I came out with no headache at all, a first for any 3D movie. Given that I had one going in, maybe I need to invest in a pair of the polarizing glasses and a method to turn the entire world 3D as a permanent cure.
My second concern was the Creepy Tom Hanks, doll-eyed animation from the last Zemeckis mocap affair, The Polar Express. It’s much better throughout the movie, and totally absent from the really heavy acting moments and most close ups, but I wish it hadn’t been quite so mixed a bag. Still, it’s light years ahead of Polar Express.
Truly terrifying action sequences paired with some really nice character moments and CG stiletto-heeled Angelina Jolie makes me a happy boy. Be aware that, despite the PG-13 rating, there’s quite a lot of really adult stuff going on. The violence is extreme, Grendel is truly terrifying both in the performance and design, the themes of the movie are sophisticated, and the dialogue is often appropriately ribald given the source material. Unless you have a desire to explain what Beowulf means when he’s extolling the virtues of a king’s right to “swive” to your kid, this might be a good one to see without them.
It’s a better world when truly talented artists like Robert Zemeckis, Neil Gaiman, and Roger Avery team up. I may need to see this again this weekend.