Well, I saw it. I finally saw Beowulf! It was a 9:45PM showing on a Wednesday night, and with ice rain working against ticket sales, it was still a full crowd at the theatre. Looking good, ticket counters!
Ok, I know this review is a bit late, and I’m sure you have all read the reviews on the Internet by now, so I’ll give you a quick rundown. King (Anthony Hopkins) and town like to party, a bad monster named Grendel keeps invading the party and messes the place up, Beowulf (Ray Winstone) comes to town as a professional bouncer to get rid of the monster, he’s successful, and monster’s mom (Angelina Jolie) and Beowulf develop a new...working relationship.
Don’t worry, Grendel just sets the plot for the movie, and this was not a spoiler!
The stereoscopic 3D (S-3D) of course is awesome. The landscapes, the faces, the boobs, the spears - it’s all there. Did I say "boobs"? Yes! Everything was rendered in S-3D! Even my wife said "Angelina Jolie had a kid last year, there is no way her boobs look like THAT!"
As a committed mass introduction to 3D in film, I think Beowulf will be viewed as successful. It’s never over the top with ridiculous gimmicky pop-out effects without context, and yet it compliments the movie in a way that makes seeing it in 2D a last resort. Frankly, I think it is very difficult to justify 2D content when S-3D can be so eloquently done.
The story was good too, but I have some gripes with how they handled Grendel. The truth is, I really felt for that poor monster. That selfish kingdom, up late with those loud mead parties - and that annoying singing queen (which is what REALLY sets him off)! The way the story was cut together, it was clear that all Grendel wanted was some piece and quiet. When the monster did mutter in what sounded like Latin, he didn’t seem like a vicious beast at all - just misunderstood. There’s a lesson in here for those inconsiderate noisy neighbors out there!
I recommend this movie to three crowds. People who have a weakness for Angelina Jolie, anyone looking for a thrilling 3D movie experience, and game developers. Why game developers?
When you go to the movie, you will find two things. First, you will get visual ideas for future video games as far as how S-3D will help portray your story. Second, with the exception of the clanging of swords, arrows, and breaking wood, you will hear silence, the silence of a focused audience waiting for the next exciting moment. I can’t think of a better public case study that demonstrates the merits of 3D in video games. From a consumer point of view, everybody gets it.
I give Beowulf an 8/10. It loses 2 points for the singing queen and the misunderstood Grendel. I was really rooting for that neighbor!