Beowulf (2007)

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Beowulf (2007)

Based on an old legend this is the third movie featuring Beowulf as a hero. The first version was released in 1999 and was produced by Graham Baker, then in 2005 an international film was released under the name Beowulf & Grendel, directed by Sturla Gunnarsson and eventually Robert Zemeckis directed the version I saw in 2007. The story is based on an old English poem that dates back sometime before the tenth century A.D..

Now the movie is mostly animated, allot of characters are done using motion capturing and in theatres they even showed it in 3D. The action and effects are nice, even though I have seen better. The story itself doesn’t really fit the manuscript translation I have read, but the main lines remain the same. It’s an entertaining movie, but it will never become one of my favorite movies, the story just isn’t catchy enough.
Bellow the image more about the movie, but needed to place a spoiler alert first. However, I don’t think the knowledge of what is going to happen makes the movie any less interesting, because it’s more a no-thinking popcorn action movie, so I would advice people to see it because it has nice action in it, not to see a good history based movie.

The story takes place in the old Denmark, where King Hrothgar rules over his kingdom. One night during celebrations a monster Grendel decides he can’t take the noise from the celebrations and goes over to the great hall to murder the people in a brutal way. The next day the king offers a reward for anyone who helps them get rid of the horrible Grendel, and that is when Beowulf shows with his army.
He decides to stay in the great hall and while he sleeps he lets his men celebrate to lure Grendel to him. When Grendel arrives they get in a fierce battle in which Beowulf wins by taking Grendels arm. The next morning the victory is celebrated and Beowulf receives a golden drinking horn from the king as a reward.
Next morning Beowulf finds his men all killed and when asking the king how this was possible the king points him to Grendel’s mother. Beowulf goes towards the cave where Grendel’s mother is located to kill her, but, and this is where the movie differs from the manuscript I read, Beowulf gets seduced by Grendel’s mother. She promises him a kingdom, wealth and eternal glory in exchange for the golden horn and a son.
When Beowulf returns claiming to have killed Grendel’s mother the king doesn’t seem convinced, his story was one of seduction as well, with Grendel as the result. The king promises that his kingdom and all he owns becomes Beowulf’s when he dies, after which he immediately makes his words true by jumping from the tower into the cliffs.
Beowulf rules for many years until one day the horn reappears, not shortly after that a dragon attacks nearby villagers and Beowulf decides to take action.

In the manuscript I read Grendel’s mother gets killed by Beowulf after which he returns with gold and horses donated by the queen. After his return Beowulf fights battles with the Geat king who gets killed in battle. Beowulf is offered the throne but leaves it to a prince named Heardred. When the prince gets killed Beowulf takes the throne, he rules the Geat for 50 years until his kingdom gets terrorized by a dragon. Beowulf goes to the cave to attack the dragon and, during a fierce battle, Beowulf is able to kill the dragon, but he also gets injured, from which he dies soon after.

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