STARRING: Christopher Lambert, Rhona Mitra, Oliver Cotton, Götz Otto,
Charles Robinson, Brent Jefferson Lowe, Roger Sloman, Layla Roberts
1999, 90 Minutes, Directed by: Graham Baker
Beowulf translates the ancient epic poem of the same name into a
post-apocalyptic Road Warrior-style future, in which a military outpost is
being invaded by a monstrous, blood-thirsty creature. Drawn hither by the
evil emanations comes Beowulf (Christopher Lambert from Subway and the
Highlander series), a powerful warrior with dark secrets of his own. There
he meets the beautiful Kyra (Rhona Mitra), a woman warrior with a couple of
cleavage-revealing outfits. Her father Hrothgar, meanwhile, is haunted by
dreams of a blond, seminaked succubus with crimped hair, who has some
mysterious connection to the murdering monster.
"Never take a
college course in which they make you read Beowulf," Woody Allen advised in Annie Hall. And the same goes for this movie: don't watch it or don't
make anyone make you watch it for whatever reason either!
Beowulf, in case you were dozing off in English Lit class
is a 1 000 plus year old epic poem written in Old English (which bears
little, if any, resemblance to English as it is spoken today). Now I wasn't paying too much attention in English class myself, but as far as I can make out this movie bears little, if any, resemblance to the poem. Instead the movie seems to be cribbed from other (better) sci-fi movies.
A mysterious stranger clad in black leather comes across a besieged community (like Mel Gibson did in
The Road Warrior). It would seem that they are "haunted" by a poorly rendered CGI creature (that looks like a cross between the
Predator and The Creature from the Black Lagoon)
that picks them off one by one (like in Alien).
So if you were bargaining on cheating for English Lit exams by watching
the movie instead of reading the poem, forget it.
"No pair of breasts can save this movie!"
Other than cheating on exams I can't think of any reason why anyone would want to see this mess starring Christopher Lambert (except for
Highlander, did he ever play in anything good?) set in a future that resembles the dark middle ages more than anything else.
Everybody is dressed like set extras from
Mad Max and Excalibur. There is somehow electricity for a public announcement system, but not for lighting (instead they use burning wall-mounted lamps that seem to use gas). Everything is underlit. The recipe for gunpowder has also disappeared somehow, but
they do have tobacco for cigars. It seems cold judging from the actors' breaths, but the lead
actress appears in cleavage revealing and skimpy outfits throughout.
I wasn't paying much attention in English Lit class back then
because of a girl sitting right in front of me. I wasn't paying much attention to this movie because of the
gratuitous cleavage shots (which was probably the point in any case). The actors in the film also seemed to be staring at her
breasts instead of her (even the actor playing her father!). Can't say I blame them.
The story is bad, the dialogue clunkers, the acting poor and I've seen better special effects in your average episode of Xena - Warrior Princess. All the action scenes and pretty much the rest of the movie is set to a droning techno soundtrack - the type of repetitive "music" they use in computer games nowadays that makes one miss the tinned bleeps of the Space Invaders years. Later I discovered that the producers of Mortal Kombat
produced this film. That makes sense - both resemble computer games, but without
the interactivity, which makes it dull. No pair of breasts could save the movie from that . . .