Thursday, December 20, 2007

Beowulf: Giving Ishtar a Run for its Money!

Every so often, a movie comes along that fills you with wonder. For me, this was just such a movie.

I wondered:

"Who greenlighted this movie?"

"Who saw the final product and said, 'yes, great, let's rush it to the theaters!'..?"

"Who convinced the top A-List actors of Hollywood to become involved?"

...and perhaps the most vexing question of all, "Who will stop this sort of thing from ever happening again?"

Beowulf opens with the human characters from Shrek drinking and chasing women around a midieval chamber. The noise of their merry reveling upsets a local Ogre from Lord of the Rings, so he magically appears in the Hall and tears these party-goers into bloody pieces. Naturally, the King assumes this will happen at every drinkin-and-fornicatin' party he throws, so he puts out a general call for a Hero to come kill that stupid Ogre. In the meantime, he's boarding up the party Hall, and throwing his Kingdom into a party-free funk.

Enter Beowulf, the Hero of Heroes. If you doubt his prowess or ability, just ask him, and he'll relate to you an exaggerated account of his many accomplishments. Early on, it's alluded to that (typical man!) Beowulf's one weakness is the pleasures of the flesh, and at least once in the past he failed to accomplish greatness because he went chasing after some half-human skirt, instead. Needless to say, that will once again prove to be his downfall.

I suppose Beowulf can be viewed as a cautionary tale about controlling our animalistic, carnal side. And, well, that's always a good message, I guess... but in REALITY, Beowulf is just an atrocious mish-mash of Shrek, Austin Powers, and the obligatory nude scenes from every single Angelina Jolie movie.
If it were just a wee bit more ridiculous, I'd be lauding it as the Comedy of the Year, but it's not ridiculous enough; it THINKS it's smart and sober and serious, and that's why it fails. It's hard to take a movie seriously when it features Anthony Hopkins' fat naked cartoon butt hanging out of his robes.

So my assessment? Ishtar now has competition for the title "Worst Movie Ever Made." On a scale of 1 to 10, I rate Beowulf a 2. It would be a 1, but I'm a guy and Angelina Jolie WAS almost naked, after all.....

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