2007
Rated: PG-13 for violence, nudity.
Genre: Action Adventure Fantasy Animation
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis
Running Time: 1:53
Review by: Felix Vasquez Jr.
Review Date: 1/27/08
Special Features:
 
BEOWULF

 

It’s about time you face it, fans of “Beowulf,” Hollywood is never going to create a movie that’s a hundred percent faithful to the original epic story, period. Firstly, because the word is that it’s too hard to adapt, and secondly because Hollywood just doesn’t want to. They have the concept to build on with the director’s own creative visions to do the rest of the work, so give it a rest. I’m sure “Beowulf” is an excellent story, but it’s never going to happen. You too, fans of “I Am Legend.” So, until then either read the original material or suck it up and watch the movies. Matt Stone and Trey Parker once explained that the reason why they spoof Michael Bay movies is that the heroes and villains in his films know they’re so cool and hot shit that it’s tough to take them seriously, let alone sympathize or root for them. Well, they have never met Beowulf. Zemeckis’ version of Beowulf is nothing more than a buff, male stereotype who is never afraid to lay in the nude, boasts about stories that most likely never happened to him, and is disgustingly cocky and full of bravado. I’ve never seen a hero in a film before that I just could not stand to watch, and lo and behold,

Beowulf simply rose to the occasion and was a main character I absolutely despised. He scoffs at the locals, he undermines the obnoxious king, and he purposely hits on the queen, all the while he’s an incredible warrior. Sure, if I were packed like a powerhouse and able to take on monsters, I’d be a bit full of myself, too, but Beowulf is so unlikable, he’s practically a villain.  

“Beowulf” is an endurance test and one that asks for people to sit through a rambling and incoherent story filled with awful pretensions of being a period fantasy that’s both unique and amazing, when it’s neither of these. Instead, only forty minutes in I found myself checking my watch and considering turning it off, because Zemeckis failed to peak my interest at every turn. Every bit of story is lethargic and incredibly uneventful with diatribe after diatribe of great battles fought, and forced tension, all the while the animation, as realistic as it presents itself to be, really just fails to inspire a whimsical and raucous energy that Zemeckis can never inject. The tone is attempted machismo with a sensational homage to films for men, and the entire time all I could do was yawn and hope that the monsters would come to destroy every single character here. Beowulf is a Norse super warrior who exaggerates the supposed legends of his life, and somehow that’s an admirable flaw to his character. Either way, the entire premise and intent to “Beowulf” comes off as forced and vain and is flat from minute one. It’s a bland and lethargic piece of Hollywood tripe that not even the presence of Ray Winstone could salvage, and I couldn’t be more disappointed that it turned out so flat a film.

I wondered why Zemeckis’ film wasn’t nominated for an Oscar, and I now I know. “Beowulf” has potential, but fails at every turn to be entertaining, coherent, and watchable. It’s a flat, boring, and brutally obnoxious animated film filled with dead eye CGI models that are appealing and nothing more.

 

 

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