Tuesday, April 08, 2008
It is not often that a movie's marketing campaign fails to show what a film is really like. Usually it is fairly easy to pigeon hole movies based on their ads. A few notable exceptions, for me anyway, are So I Married an Axe Murderer, Gross Pointe Blank, and now Beowulf. Both of the aforementioned films looked like something best avoided, but when forced to watch them years after their release I found them to be very fun and enjoyable. Last year Beowulf was released, and the ads made it look like some real, high-quality cheese. What I didn't realize at the time was that it is an animated film, and the over the top emoting shown in the commercials actually made sense when viewed in context. We rented it yesterday, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening's entertainment. The story is familiar, up until Grendel is slain(sorry if that's a spoiler) but then it goes beyond the epic poem, and does so quite well. The animation is on a par with Shrek, although with more realism, and the motion-capture is done very well. Beowulf himself spends a great deal of the movie naked, but since that is the rare side of the nudity coin I shan't complain. It is a fun, and gruesome retelling of the Viking saga which combines realism and magical fantasy in a compelling way that will have you munching your popcorn even as you want to turn away from some of the ick. Plus the dragon kicks ass. A very worthy rental, indeed.