When it comes to the world of animated movies, there aren’t many that seem to match up to the quality of Pixar and Disney. Sure, every once in a while a good film comes out such as ‘Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse’ yet there aren’t an abundance of good animated films out there that don’t belong under the Disney name.
Beowulf is one of the films that manages to be at the very least, UNIQUE. An animated film that is made for adults with an artistic vision that is unlike anything else in the genre, Beowulf is one of the most underrated pieces of modern animation that I have seen.
How to Stream or Download Beowulf
You can stream it or you can download the film from a digital store. Click on the Download button located below this review. If you like Angelina Jolie, check out also her other films, for example, Salt, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.
The Movie Review
Folklore is a beautiful thing, containing some of the most mystical, mythological stories that we have ever read. Such is the story of Beowulf, an ancient Geatish warrior who specialized in killing monsters. That is until he travels to the Kingdom of Denmark, upon the request of his friend Wiglaf, to aid King Hrothgar of Denmark in slaying a malformed, troll-like creature known as Grendel.
Grendel had been a pain in Hrothgar’s butt since he first showed up, killing many of his men in the Mead Hall Heorot. This is the story of how Beowulf came across Grendel, and how his battle with Grendel had some of the direst consequences that he had ever seen.
The film is directed by Robert Zemeckis, who’s known for Forrest Gump, and Cast Away. He’s also known for many different films and is quite a versatile guy when it comes to his filmography. However, this is by far his most unique film to date. Created entirely out of computer-animated graphics, this CGI masterpiece was an impressive feat of animation back in 2007 when it was released.
The mechanics direct the film in a wonderful way, the film feels fantastically fast and compresses the story of Beowulf into a short saga quite beautifully. It goes through the many stages of his life and his time in Denmark, showcasing how he transforms from a ruthless warrior to a more caring and mindful legend.
The film also features other characters such as King Hrothgar, Unferth, Wiglaf, King Hrothgar’s wife Queen Wealtheow, and Grendel’s mother. These are all animated and designed to perfection, looking quite stylized and unique in their design and distinct from one another. They are also portrayed by some fantastic A-list actors and some amazing character actors.
In particular, Sir Anthony Hopkins as King Hrothgar and Angelina Jolie as Grendel’s Mother are some of my favorites, stand-out performances from the film. They look and feel absolutely fantastic within the world of this film, and the way they sound is just the right tone that this film required.
The main character of Beowulf is also voiced wonderfully by Ray Winstone, who brings a brutish, almost grungy vibe to this heavy metal folk tale. My personal favorite, however, was Robin Wright as Queen Wealtheow, giving an innocent and lovable take on a broken character.
The action is some of the best, as it features some of the most high-quality visual effects work combined with some fantastic CGI work that I’ve seen in recent memory. I really appreciate the motion capture of the faces, creating individual faces for most of the actors. I remember watching it as a teenager in 2007 and being absolutely entranced by the fantastic graphics of this film.
The other thing that is most unique here is the amount of gore and adult content that this film features.
It is not a film that holds back at all, so view it at your own discretion. It’s a film for adults, and it sends a message that animation isn’t a medium just for children. I personally feel that the adult content is done right in this movie, as it isn’t overdone yet it’s also there quite a lot.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, Beowulf is a purely heavy metal take on a folk tale that could send shivers down your spine. It’s a film that is lifted up by some amazing performances, some of the best CGI and visual effects work in Hollywood history, as well as a fantastic direction in its sense of scope and scale.