The blood-soaked tale of a Norse warrior's battle against the great and murderous troll, Grendel. Out of allegiance to the King Hrothgar, the much respected Lord of the Danes, Beowulf leads... See full summary »
A ruthless mercenary renounces violence after learning his soul is bound for hell. When a young girl is kidnapped and her family slain by a sorcerer's murderous cult, he is forced to fight and seek his redemption slaying evil.
Michael J. Bassett
Max von Sydow,
The blood-soaked tale of a Norse warrior's battle against the great and murderous troll, Grendel. Out of allegiance to the King Hrothgar, the much respected Lord of the Danes, Beowulf leads a troop of warriors across the sea to rid a village of the marauding monster. The monster, Grendel, is not a creature of mythic powers, but one of flesh and blood - immense flesh and raging blood, driven by a vengeance from being wronged, while Beowulf, a victorious soldier in his own right, has become increasingly troubled by the hero-myth rising up around his exploits. Beowulf's willingness to kill on behalf of Hrothgar wavers when it becomes clear that the King is more responsible for the troll's rampages than was first apparent. As a soldier, Beowulf is unaccustomed to hesitating. His relationship with the mesmerizing witch, Selma, creates deeper confusion. Swinging his sword at a great, stinking beast is no longer such a simple act. The story is set in barbarous Northern Europe where the reign... Written by
Bear with me while I transpose my thoughts from my tangential, blonde head and hopefully it will be worth your read.
Let me first say that Grendel engaged me throughout the movie. There were good performances by many of the cast (Butler's conflicted hero, Skarsgard's noble-but-not-so-noble king) , but Ingvar Sigurdsson owned it as Grendel. Was it the skill of the writer and director in making Grendel a vulnerable human(?) and victim (drawing a sympathy vote from the audience)? Was it Ingvar Sigurdsson's acting skills to express intense emotions and engage the audience despite virtually any words in the script and enough prosthetic make-up to impede facial expressions? All I know is that I connected with Grendel's pain. And isn't that the point?
Another prominent character was the weather. It wasn't on the casting list, but it showed up nonetheless and fought for top billing. It helped to draw you into the ruggedness of the times and the story, but I also found it distracting. Perhaps it's my own distractibility, but for whatever reason, the scenery and weather engaged me more than the story a few times.
The soundtrack was indeed beautiful, but personally, I don't think it fit. To me, the campfire-to-mead-hall timeless folktale would have been better served by a more primitive collection of instruments rather than the majestic orchestra suited to an epic. But that's just my taste.
My main criticism is that to me, the film seemed choppy. I felt like I missed out on some important parts. (I didn't take any washroom breaks, did I?) It may have been the editing. There are others who enjoyed the film much better at the second viewing, so maybe it's all there in the movie beyond my distraction by the scenery and Gerard Butler's rugged good looks. Maybe the movie did its job; after all I'm still chewing on it 2 weeks later. Who knows? I did, however, catch the humor in the film. Andrew Rai Berzins' sharp wit and humor came to the rescue and drew me back in when distractions prevailed.
I'd really like to see it a second time now that my giddiness is over. I was anticipating this movie from the time filming began, and what film can live up to a year's worth of my ruminations and expectations? Now, don't ask me to rate the film with a number. I hate numbers. They don't mean anything. You should never see a movie based on numbers. See it because you want to.
and if my review left you with more questions than answers, then I've done my job, because that's where the movie left me. Now go see the movie and find your own questions and answers.
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