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‘Beowulf’ (2007) a movie with Anthony Hopkins is set in Denmark in the year 507 A.D. This epic old English poem and ancient tale of heroism and betrayal is brought entertainingly to life in this screen adaptation which is stunningly animated using computer generated graphics, sword and sandals fantasy adventure movie.
A beguiling and thoroughly enjoyable film, with picturesque Icelandic vistas shot by Jan Kiesser and a timeless theme of religious conflict (Christianity versus Nordic paganism) and intolerance. Originally made in 3D, to best show off the special effects, the movie is a must have DVD for your home cinema, especially the director’s cut version, with special features about the technical creation of the movie, design and filming, which makes interesting viewing.
Anthony Hopkins (his computer generated image with his rich voice) plays elderly King Hrothgar in ‘Beowulf‘, set in a time of demons and dragons, warriors and temptresses in this Viking land. King Hrothgar, to the disapproval of his Queen, Wealthow (Robin Wright Penn) celebrates his conquest of other lands and accumulated wealth with drunken cavorting revelry in his new mead hall, where the assembled warriors and wenches make merry with mead, singing and dancing.
However, in a dark cave not far away, lurks the huge, half-demon, half-human grotesque Grendel (Crispin Glover) who is fired into a rage at hearing all these sounds of revelry and launches a horrific violent attack on the mead hall and its’ revelers, killing and maiming many of the brave warriors with his own flesh seemingly impervious to most weapons although sparing the Kings’ life, because of past history between the two, which is later revealed. After this blood-bath the beast returns to his cavern where his mother, a water demon (Angelina Jolie) comforts him. This beautiful creature brings some sex appeal to ‘Beowulf‘.
The next day King Hrothgar (Anthony Hopkins) makes it known publicly that he’s willing to pay a handsome sum to rid his kingdom of Grendel. A hero steps forward proclaiming himself defender of the realm - Beowulf (Ray Winstone). Beowulf and his fellow Geats pledge to kill the monster in exchange for gold and a kingdom.
Though at first Grendel seems invincible, Beowulf eventually manages to defeat him in a desperate and bloody battle to the death. Devastated by her son’s violent demise at the hands of Beowulf, Grendel’s mother, a splendidly sexy naked water siren, sets out in search of revenge. Beowulf is seduced by the promise of riches & power from Grendel’s mother, a scene not to be missed by fans of Angelina Jolie. So long as the gold dragon horn stays with her, Beowulf would be the most powerful & strongest king, thus his driving ambition renders Beowulf helpless, unable to kill her and instead finding himself attracted and mesmerized by her sexual power.
Check out these fantastic Beowulf Movie Games
King Hrothgar kills himself probably because he feels the guilt of losing his bastard monster son, Grendel and the demon’s mother too. Beowulf grows old and suddenly the gold dragon horn mysteriously finds its way to him and he regards this as a sign that his reign as the invincible King is over. The sentence, “Sins of the Father” haunts Beowulf and it is likely his bastard demon son that is causing havoc in his kingdom, ready to take over Beowulf’s throne & his Kingdom.
Later, Beowulf faces the biggest challenge of his life when he attempts to slay a powerful dragon. The most impressive CGI (Computer generated imagery) detail in the ‘Beowulf‘ movie, in my opinion, is the Dragon. In the stupendous battle against the Dragon, Beowulf is almost impaled on a stake. In this ferocious battle against the dragon, who is actually his son, Beowulf even has to sever his own arm in order to kill it. It is obvious that his monster son, the Dragon demon does not intend to kill him because he is intent on trying to kill the Queen, Beowulf’s young lover. It is as though his son expresses his frustrations that his father, Beowulf resents his demon mother and himself.
The movie is a spell-binder, a fully fledged cinematic assault on the senses, as if an old painting of Norse Gods had sprung to life and begun heaving spears, arrows complete with geysers of blood spurting in all directions and exceptional sound effects. A celebration of bold, carnivorous manhood married with up-to-date technical wizardry and punctuated with sly humour and a surprisingly sophisticated sting in its’ tale.
Watch the ‘Beowulf‘ movie trailer below and you can buy the Anthony Hopkins DVD here.