Beowulf & Grendel
King Hrothgar of the Danes has a problem: a troll is attacking his village and nobody seems capable of stopping him, eventhough many have tried to do so. Completely in despair, Hrothgar asks help from the Geats who send over the legendary fighter Beowulf together with 13 fierce warriors. When the Geats arrive, it quickly becomes clear that something is not right. While the Danes still get attacked, the troll doesn’t fight any of the Geats. Beowulf goes out to investigate and meets up with the local fortuneteller Selma who directs him and his men to the hidden lair of the troll who is called Grendel.
When they arrive at the spot, they find it empty and in frustration one of Beowulf’s men crashes the skull of Grendels dead father. The next night Gendel attacks the Geats but clearly is only after the one who dessacrated his father’s skull. It becomes clear to Beowulf, who managed to chop off one of Grendel’s arms, that the troll only seeks revenge and that the fight against the Danes must be as a reaction to something Hrothgar did.
Sound and Vision:
The image quality is very good with lots of detail and toned-down colors that perfectly accompany the desolate atmosphere. Compression errors aren’t present.
The soundtrack is very aggressive on the lower tones which results in a lot of work for the subwoofer. The other channels also get their job done nicely but the dialogues do sometimes tend to be overwhelmed by the effects.
– Liner Notes
– Interview with director Sturla Gunnarsson: 13 pages of text
– Beowulf & Grendel/King Hrothgar: 2 “documentaries” that together last 7 minutes
– Behind the Scenes: a stupid B-Roll
– Photo Gallery
First of all I would like to state that the back cover of the DVD is misleading at best. Dutch Filmworks states that the legend of Beowulf & Grendel inspired Tolkien to write Lord of the Rings which is simply not true. The movie itself is pretty decent although nothing really special. We get to see some decent acting but all in all, the storyline is a bit thin and this also explains why the film only lasts 100 minutes. On the technical side we can celebrate the good image quality and again the inclusion of a DTS track (becoming pretty standard for DFW). The extras are another thing however. There’s nothing interesting added and a documentary that gives more insight on the legend certainly is missed.