Christopher Lambert (MORTAL KOMBAT, HIGHLANDER) stars in this futuristic update of the classic poem written in 900 AD and set in a world of supernatural evil and inexplicable danger! Torn from a legend whose roots are buri... more »ed in the mists of time, Beowulf is half man -- half god. Living in a techno-futile world of the future, a medieval land where technology's secrets are locked away in a mute past, Beowulf fights his way through a besieging army and into a mysterious, ominous castle on the edge of nowhere to face an evil within ... a beastly spawn of man and demon named Grendel. Now he must fight to the death in order to quell the raging violence hidden deep in his own bedeviled soul!« less
"If you are a rabid fan of ye olde epic Beowulf, and are dying to see it adapted to film, then this is probably not for you. I recommend The 13th Warrior instead. Actually, I recommend The 13th Warrior to any fan of medieval action or fantasy adventure. My endorsement of Beowulf doesn't go NEARLY as far, and yet somehow, in spite of its many glaring flaws, I find this "adaptation" quite entertaining.This straight-to-video year 2000 take on the ancient tale stars Christopher Lambert as the superhuman hero Beowulf, except this isn't the Dark Ages. Instead, the events take place in a post-apocalyptic future of gears and steaming pipes (a setting that, I feel, was a mistake). It has Hrothgar the "Border Lord," Grendel, and Grendel's mother, but everything else from the poem is absent, and here the similarities begin to wane. As movies go, this is Fortress meets Mortal Kombat (both of which starred Lambert) meets Mad Max, and thrown somewhere in the middle of this techno-gothic realm is Beowulf. Beowulf himself has become a high-flying martial artist (thanks to Lambert's stand-in, naturally); Grendel's mother has become a sexy porn star succubus who seduces Hrothgar in his dreams; and Grendel is your typical B-movie creature with some purple haze surrounding him at all times to make the costume seem more imposing (and, point of fact, it does make the man in a monster suit beastie seem less like what it actually is). Not unlike the old fantasy flick The Sword and the Sorcerer, Beowulf still manages to be fun in spite of its many failings and sometimes laughable production values (not to mention laughable acting). I still haven't managed to grasp how it can equal more than the sum of its parts, but if you don't expect a film version of the old epic and instead expect a second-rate Lambert action flick, you might have fun also. (stress on MIGHT - different strokes for different folks...)"
Ward Mesick | Greensboro, MD | 07/23/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"To call this version of Beowulf mediocre wouldn't be appropriate to the level of blandness that it brings to the screen. There's relatively little to like in this post-apocalyptic recasting of the ancient poem, itself a 10th Century Christianized retelling of an even older pagan myth.
Christopher Lambert stars (which should tell you most of what you need to know already) and does almost as a good job of acting as he did in the Highlander movies, which is to say not that well at all. To be fair, he isn't given much to work with here and neither is the rest of the cast (more on them later.) He pretty much broods around the screen with a perpetual scowl on. He's also very little like the Beowulf of legend. This version of Beowulf is an abomination (I don't want to say too much for fear of giving away the story) and is thankfully a virtual martial arts master as well. Ironically, for all of his talent he is unable to best Grendal nearly as easily as the original Beowulf who in one fight ripped the beast's arm off.
The cast is mostly a joke. It's clear that the director felt that recasting the tale in the future would give him more possibilities. After all, in the 10th century there were few women who liked to put their men to shame by kicking more butt then they could. And they also didn't care to dress with as little clothing as possible. As hard as it might be for our culture to realize, there was a time when modesty was a virtue. Also very rare among the 10th century Danes were black men who's sole purpose was comic relief. But fear not, this movie's got that angle covered. The king is well cast and is mostly sympathetic. But he ends up being part of the largest disaster to come along in this long, sad line of disasters.
Because see, what would Beowulf be without lots of sex? Oh wait, the original didn't have sex, you say? Eh, it should have. And this movie makes sure that you know that it's all about sex. Thankfully, we're spared most of the details but by the end (and again, I can't say too much without ruining the end) it's perfectly clear that no tale can stand up against our sex obsessed culture. Add to this a ridiculous interpretation of Grendal's mother and you're thankfully almost to the end of this garbage. As a note to those who are familiar with the poem, the movie does not cover the final third of Beowulf's story and barely manages to include a horribly mangled version of the middle third. Hollywood still seems obsessed with a "happy" ending and so that is what we get, albiet a shallow and absurd happy ending considering the rest of the movie.
If techno music, overly-choreographed fights re-using the same moves several times, shallow characters, mediocre effects, and flat acting are your idea of a good time...then go and pick this movie up. Otherwise, unless you're a hardcore science fiction fan, you'll want to stay away from it. For those of us addicted to sci-fi, it's probably worth seeing once just to say you have seen it. But after that, there isn't much there. "
"What Brings You? The Darkness" ~ The Quotability Factor
Brian E. Erland | Brea, CA - USA | 07/25/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Though the '98 sword and sorcery film 'Beowulf' adapted from a 8th century Saxon epic poem doesn't receive high marks overall, it does contain everything necessary to attract a sizeable cult following.
What Attracts A Cult Following? 1) Charismatic Hero: Christopher Lambert stars in the role of Beowulf. That will attract Highlander, The Hunt and Mortal Combat fans. 2) Hot Women: His co-star and romantic interest is gorgeous newcomer Rhona Mitra as Kyra. She is one of the sexiest actresses to appear in a fantasy adventure film since Caroline Munro graced the screen in the role of the slave girl Margiana in the '74 film, 'The Golden Voyage of Sinbad'. It's worth watching just for her. (*There's also a brief appearance by ex-Playboy centerfolds' Patricia Velazquez as the ill-fated Pendra and Layla Roberts as Grendal's demonic Mother). 3) Quotability Factor: The dialogue is trite and annoyingly shallow, but contains many quotable lines such as; "I'm not like other men" and "The only thing that stops me from being evil is fighting evil". Quotability is a must for attaining cult status consideration. 4) Monster Aesthetics: Grendal is an acceptable adversary for Beowulf, but his demoness Mother (Layla Roberts) is even better. 5) Music Appreciation: 'Beowulf' contains a strong, pounding, contemporary rock soundtrack to help keep you focused.
OK for one viewing, but not much more unless you're a hardcore Lambert fan or just like looking at Rhona Mitra. On second thought, maybe a repeat viewing is in order."
Real treat for Lambert fans
- Kasia S. | New York City | 01/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love this movie for many reasons, and sure I can see how some people can dislike it because it's not their cup of tea, they might see it as a cheap movie with mediocre acting because they are used to a more mainstream type of a movie while this one is a detour on the straight road of life.
Christopher Lambert is a flaxen hair warrior on a horse yielding a sword in a battle against a man eatting monster by the name of Grendel, which is mysteriously somehow connected to him, while Enigma crossed with the Matrix type music blasts through out the movie. Lambert plays Beowulf who comes to a place called the Outpost, where many troubles are happening, and he volunteers to kill the beast that is running on murderous rampages when night falls. He also establishes a relationship with a young widow and tackles her brother who doesn't trust him.
I'm a huge Lambert fan, he's quirky and odd but his movies are different and simply great. If you enjoy movies such as Conan, Red Sonja and fantasy costume and monster madness then this might be a great addition to your collection. This sci-fi adaptaion of the medieval Anglo-Saxon legend was filmed on location in Romania and it really looks ancient, while the acting isn't oscar material, I appreciate it for what it is."
A mix of Mad Max, Highlander & Mortal Kombat....
James McGregor | Bristol United Kingdom | 09/11/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Put your brain on pause, and let Chrisphe Lambert's best film since the first Highlander, entertain you! Its a strange mix of old and new, and the actions scenes are very comic book in their execution. The only bad points of the film are Rhona Mitra's incredible lack of acting skills, she is the original 'Lara Croft'model, game fans, and the cartoon like CGI monster... Those points aside, if you like movies with big swords, over the top martial arts, big monsters and a pumping dance and heavy metal soundtrack, Anthrax and Rob Halford are just two of the acts included, this just might be the film for you......."