Plot: What’s it about?
In a remote outpost, an evil force lives that no man can quell and as such, the local armies have surrounded the place. But this is simply a containment measure and since they can’t defeat the monster themselves, they just make sure whatever comes out isn’t allowed to leave the premises. The best warriors have battled this beast and been slaughtered and if it isn’t beaten soon, it is feared the evil might spread further and be too widespread to control. The creature that lurks inside the outpost is Grendel, a supernatural beast who has never been wounded and crushes men with little effort. When a wanderer named Beowulf (Christopher Lambert) learns of this monster, he decides to lend a helping hand and offers to hunt the evil that resides in the place. Of course he is taken up on his offer, but when he is able to wound the evil creature and his own wounds heal much faster than normal, it is obvious this is no mortal man. This inspires hope within the legions, who think a savior has finally arrived. But can even Beowulf tame the evil that dwells within the castle?
After I saw the trailer for this film, I wanted to check it out, but the theaters near me passed on it so I was forced to wait for the home video edition. I’ve now seen the film of course and I have to report, it was worth the wait and then some. I know a lot of bad reviews have been given to this film, but I found it to be fun and a heck of a wild ride. I can tell why you might disappointed if you expect a cinematic classic, but if just want a fun and visually stunning film, then Beowulf would be a good choice. As the title implies, this movie tells the story of Beowulf, but this is a futuristic rendition of the classic poem. The realm is much like a modern Dark Ages and if you ask me, that kicks ass and it works very well for this story. Add in some excellent action/adventure elements, a brisk pace, some nice visual effects, hot chicks, and of course, Christopher Lambert and you’ve got the basics of Beowulf. I was a little dismayed that the story runs astray of the original poem a lot, but in the end the film turns out very well in my opinion. This movie has action, great costumes, cool weapons, sleek visuals, and a lot of other cool elements also. I highly recommend this film to all those interested, so give this one a spin and don’t believe the poor reviews.
If you’re like me and love low budget, low profile action/science-fiction flicks, then you have seen a great deal of movies with Christopher Lambert. In that realm, he is supreme and though his technical skills are lacking, he always brings his roles across well. This film falls right into his specialty also and as such, he is able to turn in his usual solid performance and add a lot to this low profile motion picture. Lambert handles the action sequences pretty well, though you can tell when stunt men are used and his age is starting to show in several respects. Still though, Lambert is in fine form here in Beowulf and I think fans of his will be pleased with his work on the movie. If you want more Lambert films I recommend Highlander, Mortal Kombat, Highlander: Endgame, The Hunted, Mean Guns, Adrenalin, and Knight Moves. The cast of Beowulf also includes Patricia Velazquez (Committed, The Mummy), Oliver Cotton (The Sicilian, Firefox), Layla Roberts (Armageddon’s “Molly Mounds”), G÷tz Otto (Marlene), and Rhona Mitra (Hollow Man). The director of Beowulf is Graham Baker, who also helmed such films as Omen III: The Final Conflict, Alien Nation, and Born To Ride.
Video: How does it look?
Beowulf is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. I love this film’s visuals and as such, I am very pleased with the almost flawless visual transfer the movie has been given. The nature of the film is low budget, so some marks can be seen on the print, but no other problems surface at all with this visual presentation. The film’s dark visuals look excellent in this edition, sleek & sharp shadows at all times and not even a hint of detail loss is visible. The colors aren’t as bright as usual, but they look just are they’re intended to and flesh tones appear natural also. I detected no flaws with the compression process either, this is one awesome looking visual transfer!
Audio: How does it sound?
I was disappointed with the disc’s audio, as this film provides so many chances for dynamic audio, but the included 2.0 stereo simply isn’t equipped to handle them at all. Given the limits of the track though, the audio turns out well enough, though it should have been given a full surround sound remix. The elements emerge in fine form in the end, which is what I suppose really matters. The film’s pulsing soundtrack sounds good here, but again lacks the range of a full surround sound option. The sound effects also come through well, while the dialogue is crisp and always at a proper volume level. The disc also contains English subtitles, in case you might need them.
Supplements: What are the extras?
On this disc you’ll find the film’s theatrical trailer and a two & a half minute behind the scenes featurette.