As you may know, I’m also an English teacher, and so when I heard they were making a Beowulf movie, the literature nerd in me got pretty excited. Why does everyone get so worked up about Beowulf, you ask? It’s simple really. It’s THE oldest known epic narrative poem belonging to the English language.
And that’s about it.
The story of Beowulf has been done and redone so many times in so many variations that the original holds little mystique any longer. So when you go see the film version of this man-versus-monsters tale, don’t look for much beyond what you’ve seen with other rudimentary hero quest movies. But do remember this—Beowulf is among their granddaddies.
The movie itself is interesting in terms of how it was made. You’re watching computer-generated images throughout the film, and it’s some of the best CGI you’ll see. I had to take it a step further and take in the 3-D version, which was pretty—to use a technical term—gnarly. I mean that as a compliment.
The fight scenes were incredible; the monster Grendel is truly visually frightening as well as flat-out eerie thanks to voice and physical work by the unique Crispin Glover; and the dragon simply looked astounding.
Angelina Jolie played Grendel’s mother, and though it was CGI, they left very little to the imagination of what Brad Pitt observes during sexy-time. My only problem was giving her high-heels. It’s ridiculous for a naked monster-woman to wear high heels.
Oh, by the way, Beowulf loves to fight in the buff, so if computer-generated man-cheeks aren’t your thing, I’d avoid this flick.
Overall, pretty cool realization of an epic poem that most of us couldn’t make heads-or-tails of in high school. However, because the story has been copied so much, you will certainly feel like you’ve seen this movie before.