directed by Graham Baker
(Dimension, 1999)

It is hard to convey just how bad this incarnation of Beowulf truly is.

Set in a futuristic past -- or perhaps a medieval future, it's hard to know which -- the tale begins with the roots of the Beowulf legend. A keep is beset by a murderous beast, and a hero comes to slay him -- and his mother, too. That's about all this movie owes to Saxon mythology, however.

Everything here is pretty much awful, from the characters to the wooden acting, from the set to the script, from the cheesy dialogue to the dreadful soundtrack ... and the utter lack of sense that marks this film throughout. Even the swordplay, which was so elegant for Christopher Lambert in the classic Highlander film, is wooden and cartoony here. The effects are awful, too; it's hard to take Lambert's (body double's) acrobatic martial arts seriously, and the monster itself is so bad, filmmakers had to blur its image (no doubt to forestall outright chuckles from the audience). And Grendel's mother here is a soft-core porn star, which simply isn't very scary.

At least Rhona Mitra (the original model for Lara Croft, who has nothing to do here but showcase her boobs, look grim and wave a knife around) is nice to look at.

review by
Tom Knapp

30 July 2011

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