Film relives bloody epic

Category: Beowulf & Grendel Reviews | Posted by: admin
Article Date: March 24, 2006 | Publication: London Free Press | Author: LOUIS B. HOBSON
Publication/Article Link:http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/Today/Entertainment/2006/03/24/1502981-sun.html

In Beowulf & Grendel, the troll has reason to be angry.

Trolls are bothersome at the best of times.

At the worst of times, they can be downright deadly.

That's what the sixth- century Danish king Hrothgar (Stellan Skarsgard) learns in the epic revenge tale, Beowulf & Grendel.

Hrothgar kills a troll but spares its young son, Grendel (Ingvar Sigurdsson). Bad move: Trolls don't forgive or forget.

Grendel's revenge is so bloody and unrelenting, Hrothgar seeks the help of the famous Swedish hero Beowulf (Gerard Butler).

Beowulf agrees to rid Denmark of this bothersome troll, only to learn Grendel has good reason to be angry.

By then it's too late.

Beowulf has incurred the wrath of Grendel, so one of them must die.

It's a great story that just happens to be the oldest epic poem in the English language.

Canadian filmmaker Sturla Gunnarsson filmed the movie in Iceland and the scenery dwarfs every performance in the movie. The incredible landscapes are breathtaking and hint at just how inhospitable nature can be.

Butler is far more effective as the viking warrior than he was as the deformed opera buff in Phantom of the Opera. At all times, he looks as if he could survive those fierce winds, icy waters and savage duels.

Sarah Polley plays Selma the sorceress as an alluring, sexy priestess.

In a film where some of the accents are thick, Polley speaks in contemporary English.

It is jarring and detracts from the realism Gunnarsson tries so hard to create in Beowulf & Grendel.

BEOWULF & GRENDEL * * *

What: Action adventure directed by Sturla Gunnarsson

Starring: Gerard Butler, Stellan Skarsgard, Ingvar Sigurdsson, Sarah Polley

Classification: 14A

Where: Huron Market Place, 1251 Huron St. (453-4672)