Beowulf & Grendel
Source: Catholic News Service
Grim and tepid, if earnest and ruggedly beautiful, retelling of the eighth-century Anglo-Saxon saga of the Norse hero Beowulf (Gerard Butler) who leads a troop of warriors across the sea to help the long-suffering Danish king Hrothgar (Stellan Skarsgard) rid his lands of a murderous troll, Grendel (Ingvar Sigurdsson), who is exacting revenge on Danes for an earlier wrong. Stripping the epic of both its fantasy and Christian elements while remaining faithful to its outline, director Sturla Gunnarsson does a good job at establishing the dark, dank and brutish world of the poem, breaking up the overall broodiness with savage swordplay and severed limbs, but what the film gains in pathos by humanizing the monster, and a contemporary feel by modernizing the dialogue (including frequent use of the f-word), it loses in mythic luster. Assorted bloody violence, including dismemberment, some gruesome images, a rape flashback, an implied sexual encounter, a crass scene of urination, and recurring rough and crude language. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
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