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Beowulf (Director's Cut) (2007)

A movie directed by Robert Zemeckis

< read all 7 reviews

The classic Epic Poem is brought to the screen in stunning fashion.

  • Nov 16, 2007
  • by
Pros: Amazing FX

Cons: May be to violent for some.

The Bottom Line: A solid film that delivers the goods.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot.

The classic Epic poem Beowulf has come to the big screen in a stunning CGI extravaganza under the direction of Director Robert Zemeckis.

For those not familiar with the poem, it is an ancient Danish poem that talks of the heroic exploits of the hero Beowulf, as he battles all manner of bizarre creatures. The poem was told orally from generation to generation and eventually became known to many as the source of much of the early great literature from the western world.

I first became familiar with the tale some twenty years ago during my early years in private school where our headmaster had it as required reading for all of his students in honors level English.

The film stays very close to the poem and tells the tale of King Hrothgar (Sir Anthony Hopkins), a troubled leader whose kingdom is under siege by a hideous creature known as Grendel (Crispin Glover).

During a brutal attack by Grendel which results in the loss of many lives, King Hrothgar promises half the gold in his kingdom to any hero who can rid the land once and for all of the foul creature that has caused so much suffering.

In short order, the heroic Beowulf (Ray Winstone), arrives with is army of warriors to take up the challenge. Beowulf is legendary for his exploits in vanishing monsters, but his boastful nature raises the concerns of Unferth (John Malkovich), who thinks that Beowulf ‘s reputation and ability is far more style than substance.

Eventually Beowulf battles Grendel, and accomplishes his goal but learns that the monster has a Demonic mother that to must be destroyed in order for peace to truly be achieved.

Beowulf sets off the kill the demon (Angelina Jolie), but finds himself unable to match her whiles, and enters into a deal that has far reaching repercussions.

The second half of the film deals with the consequences of Beowulf’s decisions and how having is not nearly as important as wanting, which leads to a spectacular and FX filled final segment.

The film is amazing, and for those lucky enough to see the film in 3D, filled with amazing visual treats.

While the film is in no way suitable for children due to the violence it contains, the story holds up very well centuries later, and provides a solidly entertaining tale of heroism, betrayal, and morality that stands the test of time.

I had concerns that the film would be a slap-dashed effort that was attempting to cash in on the success of “The 300”, but in actuality, I found this film to be far more entertaining and satisfying.

The voice work of the cast is solid, but it is clearly the visuals that drive this film, as well as the dynamic effects made possible by the latest advancements in 3D technology as the film literally bursts out of the screen.

Beowulf will not be for everyone as those unfamiliar with the work on which it is based may find it derivative or predictable, but when you consider this is literally the tale that started it all, you could make an argument, that it set the table for all future tales to follow.

4.5 stars out of 5.


Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Fit for Friday Evening
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older

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More Beowulf reviews
review by . January 11, 2011
The Story of Beowulf Rendered With PULP Re-Envisioning By Robert Zemeckis....
Everyone knows the story of “Beowulf”, most folks have read the epic poem when they were in high school, I have read the story in Bulfinch’s mythology and movies such as “Beowulf and Grendel” have portrayed the poem to a much more accurate degree albeit it was met with mixed reviews. This story (known as “Song of Beowulf” to some) may be the oldest written story in Northern Europe and was a strong part of its oral history. Eventually the story has been passed …
Quick Tip by . February 03, 2010
A flat, shallow piece of filmmaking that relies too heavily on spectacle & not enough on story. A very weak treatment of the epic poem.
review by . April 03, 2010
When I was but a callow freshman my mother, an archetypal Danish monster*, meaning well, made me sign up for a Mediaeval English Literature class. At the time this aggrieved me, but despite myself I enjoyed it immensely, and especially the really old bits - derived from Icelandic and Old High German, prominent among them Snorri Sturluson's sagas in which people ritually burn each other and the anonymous Danish legend Beowulf. It's a great story, even in its original old English (which considerably …
review by . November 15, 2008
Hrothgar the King, he built a new hall   For frolicking, drinking and fun   He stocked it with mead, and opened the doors   And soon the par-tay had begun     Grendel the monster awakes from his sleep   Disturbed by the noise from Heorot   He slashes and slays until Hrothgar appears   And challenges him there on the spot     Grendel and Hrothgar, they stand eye to eye   Then Grendel runs …
review by . August 08, 2008
Numerous takes have been done on the Beowulf legend, but this is probably the most expensive one to date, and surely the most ironic one to date, in that it is animated, yet primarily for adults. The twist on the story is new, Beowulf sleeps with Grendel's mother, who in turn bears a dragon as a child. Beowulf then dies while stopping the dragon from destroying his kingdom.     Several things to know before watching this movie. First of, don't let the kids watch it. The amount …
review by . January 13, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
The story of Beowulf is the oldest story of the English language. It's an epic story about a heroic man who seems capable of doing supernatural deeds. When I was a senior in high school I read Beowulf for the first time and loved the story and themes the story was about. I enjoyed reading the story even more years later in college when I had an opportunity to read a few portions in the original Old English. I enjoyed the story just as much a few later when I read Semus Heaney's translation soon …
review by . March 18, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
I am Ripper... Tearer... Slasher... Gouger. I am the Teeth in the Darkness, the Talons in the Night. Mine is Strength... and Lust... and Power! I AM BEOWULF!     Easily the best line from a movie that I can remember and this is one of the many reasons why I gave this film a 5 star rating.    For those who aren't familiar with the notion of Beowulf, let me fill you in and give you the lowdown of where it all came from. Beowulf is an epic poem without an author, …
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Gareth Von Kallenbach ()
Ranked #111
I am a syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. My work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site "Skewed … more
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Spectacular animated action scenes turn the ancient epic poemBeowulfinto a modern fantasy movie, while motion-capture technology transforms plump actor Ray Winstone (Sexy Beast) into a burly Nordic warrior. When a Danish kingdom is threatened by the monster Grendel (voiced and physicalized by Crispin Glover,River's Edge), Beowulf--lured by the promise of heroic glory--comes to rescue them. He succeeds, but falls prey to the seductive power of Grendel's mother, played by Angelina Jolie... and as Jolie's pneumatically animated form rises from an underground lagoon with demon-claw high heels, it becomes clear that we're leaving the original epic far, far behind. Regrettably, the motion-capture process has made only modest improvements sinceThe Polar Express; while the characters' eyes no longer look so flat and zombie-like, their faces remain inexpressive and movements are still wooden. As a result, the most effective sequences feature wildly animated battles and the most vivid character is Grendel, whose grotesqueness ends up making him far more sympathetic than any of the mannequin-like human beings. The meant-to-be-titillating images of a naked Jolie resemble an inflatable doll more than a living, breathing woman (or succubus, as the case may be). But the fights--particularly Grendel's initial assault on the celebration hut--pop with lushly animated gore and violence. Also featuring the CGI-muffled talents of Anthony Hopkins (Silence of the Lambs), ...
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Director: Robert Zemeckis
Screen Writer: Roger Avary, Anonymous, Neil Gaiman
DVD Release Date: February 26, 2008
Runtime: 115 minutes
Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
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