Friday, November 16, 2007
Film Review: Beowulf

It's been a while since I was keen enough to see a film on opening day. Beowulf was certainly worth the effort. IMBD only gives this 6.6 out of 10 stars, which is mediocre. Disregard their rating system, which is obviously flawed. My movie-going companion this morning was Codename Mom, who was also extremely keen. Codename Mom declares that Beowulf is the best film we have ever seen together at the cinema. Note: Codename Mom says this about every film we see together at the cinema. I would say that Beowulf is definitely one of the best films of 2007.

The plot in a nutshell:

Grendel is terrorizing a Norse village. Beowulf shows up and kicks his ass. Grendel's mom takes offense. Beowulf sets out to kill her as well. She seduces him with her beauty (she is Angelina Jolie, after all) and promises of power and wealth. He goes back to the village and tells an elaborate lie about how he sent her to a horrible death. Chaos ensues.

Points to consider:

While this film is animated (and in the collective opinion of Codenames V and Mom, beautifully so), it is NOT for children. Anyone who takes their kids to see this is in for a rude awakening. For a start, it's ultraviolent. There are numerous bawdy references, and quite a bit of nudity. No actual genitals, mind you, but still. Quite a bit of nudity. Apparently this got a PG-13 rating, which kind of surprises me a little. I can see people assuming PG-13 means "kid-friendly" but this film is really rather extreme.

V's general thoughts:

This is probably a wrong thing to say, but Beowulf is a hot piece of CGI ass.

The dialogue is compelling, with voices provided by some awesome people. Note: Grendel is voiced by Crispin Glover. Brilliant.

This film is action packed. And I do mean action packed. Contains more than its fair share of epic peril and bravery. Codename Mom, who is somewhat excitable, was quite literally on the edge of her seat throughout. She also covered her eyes during some of the scary bits, bless her heart.

There are a few scenes that are creepy as hell, and at least a couple of times it occurred to me that Beowulf is actually kind of a horror film. In particular, a scene where Beowulf wakes up to find his entire army of men slaughtered and hung like cattle from the beams of the mead-house. I guess it doesn't sound like much, but I found it genuinely chilling.


Totally recommended. And like many of the films I review, NOT for the squeamish. Think twice before letting kids under maybe 15 or so see this, as it deals with some disturbing things.