Let’s. Watch. Beowulf (not that one, this is the 1999 classic with Christopher Lambert and Rhona Mitra – Hooray!)
The first thing we hear before the film has even begun is some shitty electro, as if this were some upmarket Mortal Kombat maybe? Of course not, as we are then shown the wonderful Beowulf logo, which is a vaguely Beowulf-shaped cut out, and then the silhouette of a nude woman. Marvelous! But we also get to see the title itself, the font of which I am certain Blizzard Entertainment owns the rights to.
Once things properly begin, we see a badass soldier with a helmet that I am absolutely 100% certain he cannot see out of.
We see a shot of some soldiers being launched skywards, followed by a shot of the monster doing the launching (the creature design in this film is actually quite interesting – no, I’m serious).
This is followed by our soldier declaring that he can’t see shit before taking off his mask. Then why on earth did he bring it with him? Urgh. We cut away to a cute chick fleeing from the castle who runs directly into the arms of some bad guys, who have a fairly unique world view…
“Everything that comes from the castle is evil and needs to die!”
…so she is put onto a table attached to a giant shaving razor and they rip her clothes open, for some reason.
A wild Beolambert appears (!) and demands she be cut loose. This alone obviously won’t cut it, so he kills a few bad guys from the top of his horse, which is the go-to position if you want to be in a fight that looks boring as all shit. He eventually jumps from the horse and does a few somersaults (definitely not Christopher Lambert), but the fighting is surprisingly static, yet unsurprisingly dreadful. After a while everyone stops what they are doing so Beowulf can make off with the chick on his horse and head in the direction of the castle. However, half way there the chick (who is called Pendra for some reason) dismounts herself from the safety of Beowulf’s horse, and is promptly murdered. No, seriously.
Beowulf finally enters the castle. On his horse. Set to electro music…and more sight-impaired guards appear…
…and some grade-A dialogue is shared between them.
Dude 1: “Beowulf! I heard that name. Stories only idiots would believe!”
Dude 2: “Only an idiot would come to this damn place!”
Beowulf: “Unless he was already damned!”
They talk a bit more about Beowulf being there for “The Darkness” (?), while Lambert’s facial motions have about as much expressiveness as the soldiers he just killed. A young black person appears and brings Lambert to his room whilst acting and talking like he is Rob Schneider. Therefore I already hate him. He also takes a weapon of Beowulf and fires it accidentally, nearly killing himself (damn my luck). Rhona Mitra appears as the annoying servant asshole leaves (thank god), however she is pretty much walking cleavage, even though she doesn’t have the boobs to support it. And more dialogue is had which vaguely comes across as…
“Something something REVENGE…something something DEATH OF MY HUSBAND…”
…except I am barely paying attention.
Cut to the right hand man of the main bad guy (played by German TV and Film actor Götz Otto), who talks shit about training to some random guards...set to some more fucking electro music. He has a fight with the lil’ wannabes and, because he is Götz Otto, clearly owns them. At one point he even throws his sword in the air, then talks and punches for 20 seconds, before the sword lands amazingly next to the head of one of the terror-stricken soldiers.
The next 10 minutes is pretty much boring bullshit that only surprises with how much leather can be onscreen for a single shot (answer: more than any local swingers club). Eventually we get more talk between Beowulf and Mitra (her name is actually Kyra), and she asks why he’s actually in the castle. To which he responds that he is…
“…the trap between two worlds”.
Suddenly she leaves and Götz appears! He fights with Wulf! Suddenly dream softsex between Hrothgar (leader) and some blonde lady! At least we made it through a third of the movie now (sigh).
The movie still refuses to be interesting until they finally try to hunt the monster around 40 minutes into the movie. It can make itself invisible and impervious to weapons, but even this fails to raise the interests.
Beowulf uses all his 50 weapons, even though all of them are useless. Beo gets his neck slightly sliced at the same spot where he already had an injury, which might be coincidence or a shitty continuity error. Suddenly Mitra cares about him and whines that he can’t die, which starts some love triangle bullshit, since Götz says he always loved Mitra, and so-forth. This is followed by another really boring softsex dream sequence.
Just half the movie left…
Look, I really wanted to talk about the whole movie, but if I continue like this you all will fall asleep and so will I. So instead, let’s look at some of the ‘highlights’ of the last 40 minutes:
We get the backstory for Hrothgar. Apparently he had an affair with Grendel’s mom, so his wife commited suicide. Grendel is his son!
Beowulf Fights the monster and cuts of his arm. That’s enough to declare it dead and everyone is fine with it. It even runs away from Beo, so for all we know, it is still alive.
Mitra wants to tell Beowulf, that she loves him, but he doesn’t want to hear it. Our background music actually sings “Love! Love! Love!”
Grendel’s mom is back and wants to seduce Götz. She clearly knows, what she is doing.
Backstory time with Beowulf! “My mommy died while giving birth and my daddy is Baal!”
Grendel’s returns (!) and Mom talks some bullshit apparently related to the story.
Grendel attacks them and Beowulf shows up, just so he can finally kill Grendel. We’ve got some more bullshit talk between mom and Beowulf. She transforms into her true form and Beowulf kills her. The castle burns down and Beowulf leaves with Mitra for a possible sequel that luckily never happened.
Beowulf? More like Beowoof!
I live in Denmark, so for my first real review I wanted to choose something that is connected to the country. Beowulf is not a Danish movie, but the poem is set in Denmark. Though even without having read the poems, I can easily say that this movie is utter bullshit.
Beowulf, Grendel, his mother and even Hrothgar are actual characters and everything even happens in Hrothgar’s castle. But that is pretty much all the similarities you get. There is no Kyra, even though Hrothgar had a daughter, no Roland (the Götz Otto character) and Beowulf is also not the son of Baal. Instead he is the son of Ecgtheow and simply wants to proof his strength by killing monsters. Grendel is also not the son of Hrothgar, but instead the son of Cain and Grendel’s mom wants revenge, because Beowulf killed her son. Hrothgar survives and Beowulf later becomes king.
In short. The movie is pretty much just bullshit that they called Beowulf to make some extra money.
While Beowulf didn’t really remind me much of Beowulf, it did reminded me of something else. At first I thought it was Van Helsing, but that just wasn’t it. It only hit me when Beowulf finally told his backstory and suddenly even the dumbest of the dumb will realise that this is a simple ripoff of Blade. The badass hero, who is actually born from evil, now wants to destroy it, while he apparently has to fight his urges to become evil himself (not that it is mentioned beyond a single reference at the end of Beowulf) and even the music fits into the same range. Sadly Beowulf is not even nearly as interesting or entertaining as its role model. The only good aspects I can see in Beowulf would be the stupid beginning and Christopher Lamberts hair. But after those first 10 minutes, the movie becomes just boring and you don’t care much anymore.
A new kind of rating for a new reviewer
I’m not the biggest fan of ratings for movies, and I thought for some time if I should to use one for my reviews. But since I watched way too many Lambert movies in the last few weeks, the ghost of his hair appeared in my dreams and told me to use it for a fitting representation. Therefore, I simply end this review with a picture of a fitting haircut of Christopher Lambert to represent the quality. The worse the haircut or wig, the worse the movie.
So, in conclusion…