Beowulf (2007)

Classic Killer

After his celebrations are wreaked by Grendel, a vile troll who causes chaos and destruction in the mead hall, Danish king, Hrothgar offers a reward for his slaughter. It brings the self proclaimed great warrior Beowulf to the town with his entourage to slaughter the monster and claim his reward. But things don't go quite as Beowulf expected and after a battle Beowulf ends up in the lair of Grendel's mother before returning and becoming king.

I am being two faced when I say this but if I want to watch a video game I will watch a video game, not put on a movie. I say two faced because director Robert Zemeckis has impressed me in the past with his use of motion capture and CGI but how he employs it in "Beowulf" is exactly what I dislike about the technology. Nothing in this movie looks real with everything from skin tone to the character's unnaturally slow movements making it feel extremely laboured from start to finish. Look at times the use of technology is impressive and occasionally it makes you smile but the whole things looks more like footage from "World of Witchcraft" than a movie.

Of course the use of technology allows for the impossible to be made possible but it also has a knock on effect and for me that was to suck the life out of the story with its laboured nature. And that annoyed me because I remember reading "Beowulf" at school and it was one of only a few books which captured my interest during my school days. As such it appears to me that "Beowulf" is little more than a plaything for director Robert Zemeckis to see how far he can push the motion capture technology of the early 21st century and I don't think the technology was ready for such a brave attempt at a fully rendered movie especially one which is aiming for some sort of realism.

What this all boils down to is that I am sure back in 2007 there were those who were impressed by what Robert Zemeckis created with "Beowulf" but it was never for me. This was a movie from start to finish for the then gamer generation who will feel at home with the visual styling of the movie which for me was annoyingly artificial.