Review: `Beowulf’ Sexes Up Epic Poem

January 5, 2008 at 11:02 am Leave a comment



The name “Beowulf” alone surely will inspire painful memories of high-school English class and pangs of dread.

Never fear. This 3-D animated “Beowulf” is more like “300,” only with more violence, if that’s possible. And nudity lots and lots of nudity.

Director Robert Zemeckis, using the same performance-capture technology he introduced with 2004’s “The Polar Express,” takes on the epic Old English poem by sexing it up. It’s the cinematic equivalent of slipping pureed spinach into your kids’ brownies.

Adapted by Neil Gaiman (the “Sandman” comics) and Roger Avary (who co-wrote “Pulp Fiction”), the film follows the mythic Viking hero who emerges from the sea to rid a Danish kingdom of the bloody, raging, pus-covered monster Grendel (played with pathos and twisted physicality by Crispin Glover). Only then can there be much merrymaking and mead-drinking and wench-bedding.

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