release year: 1999
viewing setting: home DVD, 1/1/03
synopsis: At a remote, besieged outpost in the middle of nowhere, a fearsome and unstoppable monster is killing people off, one by one...until a mysterious warrior shows up to help with this problem.
impressions: This was the first Christopher Lambert movie in a long while that I thought was actually entertaining. It's got a lot of good scenery and weapons, suggestive of a low-tech, barbaric world. This did a good job of setting the mood - there was a serious feeling that anyone could die at any time (and in fact, many of them did!) The action scenes were well-done. Minor gripe: how was it that the monster could just vanish at will? It made no sense. Also, when swatting non-major characters, the monster could kill with one blow; when swatting major protagonists, it only seemed to stun them.
Beowulf: mysterious warrior with a bad accent and lots of weapons, comes out of nowhere to help the castle inhabitants
Hrothgar: king of the besieged castle, who the monster refuses to attack
Kyra: gorgeous daughter of Hrothgar, develops a crush on Beowulf
Roland: big, strapping right-hand man of Hrothgar, wants Kyra, doesn't like Beowulf
old weaponsmaster: builds and fixes all the strange weapons in the castle, his bad vision causes him to wander a little too close to Grendel
young weaponsmaster: nephew of the old weaponsmaster, makes a special weapon for Beowulf to fight Grendel with
Grendel: strange, semi-visible/tangible monster, can apparently teleport at will
Grendel's mom: hot blonde who appears in dreams, has a rather dark side
Pendra: hot woman who flees the castle, gets caught and is about to be sliced in half, gets rescued by Beowulf, then promptly flees back toward the people who were about to kill her, and is killed
the women and children: innocents who unfortunately get sent to the wrong place for protection
the besiegers: a large group of heavily-armed guys who surround the castle day and night, though it's not clear why
things to watch for: The fight scenes with Beowulf and Grendel were cool.
acting: Christopher Lambert uses the exact same voice and accent from Highlander here; his character was interesting and goofy at the same time. Rhona Mitra gets good screen time but very little action. The guys who played Hrothgar and Roland and the weapons master(s) did good jobs. The lady who played Grendel's mother was convincing as a powerful evil force.
final word: Worth seeing, and may become a cult movie to some people.
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