Monday, December 03, 2007
I plunged and took the supreme risk of going to see Beowulf this weekend. I wanted to see it, had to scratch the itch, to gaze into the depths of Pandora's box and see if it was worth it, worth my time, my money, my love. It was good. Way good.
Not good for everyone though. I would say that experience with Dungeons & Dragons and/or familiarity with at least two fantasy authors or series by name is a prerequisite, and no, Beowulf the book doesn't count. I would not recommend this movie to those of you who are expecting a "realistic" CGI film, in the literal sense, regardless of how it has been advertised by it's makers. The movie is "realistic" in zero ways, both in visuals and story. For those who will nit pick, the fields are ripe with swollen fruit, bursting from the vine and begging to be plucked and hurled. I'll get you started: The human faces are at times laughably faux, the physics are too controlled and lack weight (seen Shrek?), and a running horse looks like two dudes in a pantomime horse costume... running.
But shut up. Shut up all you guys like me, who are plucking at all the flaws with the relish of a bored 10 year old mauling a daisy. All the post film banter of what didn't work, who looked like shit, what dialogue made you barf in your mouth, it all dissolves in the overly epic action sequences that are spread perfectly throughout the course of the film. Just like the Lord of the Rings films, where Pippin's emotional crooning and Frodo's tortured pretty boy grimace were dashed like sand on the rock of rampaging Oliphaunts and thousand Orc sieges, so do Beowulf's flaws melt into putty beneath the shadow of Grendel and possibly the most bad ass dragon a film has ever seen.
Crispin Glover continues his legacy of the tortured, psychotic weirdo that invokes equal portions sympathy and disgust as the voice of Grendel, hardly speaking any words and relying more on screams of anguish and alarm. Yeah, Grendel isn't the T-1000 unstoppable monsterific force that is eluded to in the orginal epic, he's actually a deformed retard CHUD baby sans genitals that happens to be huge and capable of causing extreme damage in his infantile rage. He evoked strong sympathy with me. His motivation for coming down the mountain and grinding Hrothgar's people into pulp is because they party too loud and he can't sleep, something we've all craved and pondered during those summer nights when the neighbors are having deck parties and raging barbeques. Surprisingly, Angelina Jolie looked a little less hideous than in real life portrayed as the water demon with a pointy tail. Bitch can walk on water... in heels! Anthony Hopkins, as the digital King Hrothgar, is one of the more believable characters portrayed as a toga clad, drunk, party animal.
Anyways, if you're a fan of the battle scenes in Lord of the Rings, have ever enjoyed table top role playing, or just like dudes with swords fighting monsters, be sure to catch Beowulf in the theatre (in 3D) before it goes. Both Grendel and the final fight against the dragon is pretty mind blowing, and well worth the ticket price and boring talky parts between the blood and chopping.
Posted by Jon at 9:36 AM