Movie Review: Beowulf & Grendel

Coming in at number eight is retelling of an ancient legend:

Over the years, there have been several versions of Beowulf made. There was that horrendous Christopher Lambert futuristic BEOWULF in 1999 and the CGI-Animated 3D one in 2007.

(On a side note, why does every Christopher Lambert future movie suck but we can forgive him when he’s playing a guy in the past? The only future one that was any good was 1992’s FORTRESS.)

Anyway back to the business at hand, Beowulf & Grendel was an attempt to tell the Beowulf legend as close to authentic as they could. It was filmed in the frigid temperatures of Iceland by a native Icelandic director Sturla Gunnarson, who now lives in Canada.

The movie deviates from the legend some as it expands certain elements. The biggest problem with Beowulf & Grendel is just how slow the movie is. For 102 minute movie it feels like forever. A Pre-300 Gerard Butler gives his all as the arrogant hero Beowulf. Stellan Skarsgard’s Hrothgar is prominent but also forgettable. And a scene stealer is Sarah Polley, who plays the witch Selma and helps Beowulf track Grendel.

The film’s huge flaw is the dialogue. The cursing and carrying on is reminiscent of Deadwood and just feels way out of place in the wilds of Iceland. On the flipside, the costumes, armor and ruggedness of the film is brilliant.

3 out of 5

Coming tomorrow, a noble knight from the world of Middle Earth becomes a lost and confused viking who is raised by a tribe of Indians.

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