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Beowulf (2009)

Pride is the curse.

Directed by:

Robert Zemeckis

Rating: 7/10

Running Time: 114 minutes

US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12A

Beowulf is a re-telling of a classic Viking myth. It’s 507A.D and Hrothgar’s Danish Kingdom is being harassed by Grendel (Glover), a troll sent over the edge by the Dane’s all night raves. Hrothgar (Hopkins) sends out an SOS-call for someone to rid them of their curse and in struts superstar beasty-killer Beowulf (Winstone), who would certainly be going out with Paris Hilton if he were alive today. He boasts of his successes and goes about killing the monster only to find out that Grendel has an angry mother (Jolie), known imaginatively as Grendel’s Mother. When he goes alone to her underground lair to kill her, he is tempted by her beauty and makes a dirty deal.

After 300, Zemeckis is lucky to have another ready made tale that has lasted the test of time and leaves him to add his graphic style. Watching Beowulf you are in rent-a-quote heaven as Winstone tries his damnedest to keep his Cockney under wraps whilst spewing such beautifully deep lines as ‘The sea is my mother! She would never take me back to her murky womb!’ and the modest ‘I am Beowulf and I’m here to kill your monster!’ The film is great fun if you don’t take it too seriously – another way of saying that it’s not a great film if you want to watch a great film. It’s really a cross between a feature length cartoon and a proper movie. The animation is seemless and the 3D is pretty mind-blowing – it can’t really be faulted and you feel like you’re watching a real-life cast, especially as many of the voiceovers are easily recognisable.

It’s one for the boys with men’s men battling dragons and the like and Angelina Jolie doing a reverse Tomb Raider by playing a hot animated version of herself. Not since I was a spotty teenager have I fancied a computer-generated character. I feel quite dirty.

It's Got: A great Viking myth, quality animation, a good voiceover cast

It Needs: To be watched with a pinch of salt and maybe a beer

Alternatives:

300, Beowulf and Grendel, Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Summary

This was never going to be a classic but it’s got a timeless story, great animation and is a fun watch to be taken with a pinch of salt.

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