Epic Story Comes to Life With the Powerful 3D Imagery of Beowulf

Garineh Demirjian

High school seniors know that the eighth-century epic poem “Beowulf” is the oldest work of any significance in the English language, and that it is usually marked as the beginning of English literature.

Beowulf has everything going for it: great actors, an epic story with thrilling conflict and last, but not least, digital technology that is the glue that holds it all together.

Directed by Robert Zemeckis (who also directed “Cast Away,” “The Polar Express” and “House of Wax”), visually, “Beowulf” is unlike any movie ever made. You shouldn’t see “Beowulf” for the characters or story, but for the computer graphics, action and the mind-blowing special effects.

“Beowulf” tells the story of a Danish kingdom led by King Hrothgar (Anthony Hopkins) that has become the victim of a demon named Grendel (Crispin Glover). After Grendel kills a group of villagers during a celebration, the king offers half his gold to anyone who can rid the land of him. Beowulf, (Ray Winstone) conquers ocean storms to come home and kill the monster, for glory, not gold.

The action scenes between Grendel, who is in the form of a skinless human with gory features, and Beowulf, are incredible and so absolutely realistic with the 3D animation that I found myself closing my eyes in fright.

Beowulf manages to kill Grendel, with nothing on but his headband. Beowulf thinks he’s saved the day, but he learns that Grendel’s mother (Angelina Jolie) is the big monster and that she can change shape and transform into a gorgeous woman who wears high-heels and nothing else but gold on her skin. When he reaches her lair, she seduces him and makes a deal with him, thus allowing her to live and give birth to a new son.

This provides an opportunity for Beowulf to become king, an opportunity he can’t refuse.

Years pass by and the name of Beowulf spreads across the land. But a mistake from his past soon catches up to him, leading to an exciting climax.

This film may have drawn viewers in emotionally without the 3D animation, but you wouldn’t have gotten a cooler dragon or sea monster.

“Beowulf” is definitely a film worth seeing on the big screen. On a standard screen, it might not be as impressive. Even with huge HD television, it wouldn’t be the same. And if it’s worth seeing in the theaters, it’s worth finding one that’s screening in 3D.

Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, including disturbing images, some sexual material and nudity.

Running Time: 113 min.

Cast: Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Angelina Jolie, John Malkovich, Crispin Glover
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Screenplay: Neil Gaiman, Roger Avary, Anonymous (epic poem)
Studio: Paramount Pictures

Rating:4 out of 4