No, thankfully Beowulf is much better than the crock of shit that is 300, although that really isn't saying much. For a start, the action is not confined to rocky paths; the conflict not restricted to mass nipple slashing. We get vast landscapes of earth and water, battles with sea monsters and land dragons, all much more visually impressive than 300.
Yes, it all looks very nice, but about five minutes into the movie I sensed that this was made for a 3D experience and little else. I saw this on an ordinary Vue screen, but I felt as if I wasn't getting the full picture. My eyes were being raped, with all sorts of faces and objects being thrown towards me every 7 seconds. This film was made for 3D viewing, period. See it that way and don't make the same mistake as me.
Unlike 300, Beowulf doesn't have totally uninteresting characters at its centre. Granted, I could care less about the romantic subplot between Beowulf and the Queen, but the tale benefited from having a flawed hero at its centre. He was big, strong, and fought in the nude, but damn, did he make some dickhead decisions, and boy, did they bite him in the ass.
I don't want to give this film more analysis than its worth because it's plainly obvious that the sole purpose was to create a wankathon of eye-assaulting 3D visuals that never let up at any point. Angelina Jolie is naked, awesome, although the seediness doesn't stop there. Thinking the target audience was young children, imagine my surprise reaction to the opening ten minutes of debauchery, cussing, alcoholism and talk of dicking "virgins" Nice.
Overall, if you're really hard pressed to see this, I'd tell you to go 3D or nothing. Even then, there's much better films out at the moment and with all the visual finesse this picture exhumes, it still fails to stand out.
I'm not usually hard on cinematography or animation style but this movie looks downright bad to a point where it has a debilitating effect on the rest of the movie. The story is nothing really worth writing home about, it's not great but it's not terrible either. There's a nice climatic battle, that somewhat redeems the terrible animation but it's too little too late.
(Full review coming soon)