How sexy can a movie get when it has Angelina Jolie playing the role of a naked monster who seduces men? For an answer, see the classic narrative "Beowulf", pared down and sexed up by Oscar winning director Robert Zemicks.
Zemicks -- of hits like "Forrest Gump" and "Cast Away" -- uses the script by Neil Gaiman and Rogery Avary to showcase a new form of technology called 'performance capture' which the director introduced with his movie "The Polar Express" starring Tom Hanks.
In this process, digital sensors are attached to the actors' bodies and their movements are recorded. This action is then processed in computers and translated into realistic 3-D images.
Though some still complain about the realistic aspect of the characters' expressions, the new form does allow great creative freedom to create mind-blowing action. The movie manages to present a good story, somewhat superficial exploration of themes like pride, and enough action to keep audience attention.
King Hrothar's (Anthony Hopkins) kingdom is the target of the monster Grendl's (Crispin Glover) destructive outburst. No one in his kingdom can fight against this monster until the great warrior Beowulf (Ray Winstone), accompanied by his "14 brave Thanes", comes to help and for glory.
Grendl attacks this group but loses an arm in a fight with Beowulf before it limps back to die in the arm of its mother, played by Angelina Jolie. She vows to take revenge and when Beowulf finds her den, she transforms herself into a beautiful seductress and seduces him.
He does not kill her. Instead, he returns to perpetuate the lie that he did. All is well for years till his land is under attack again. This time it is all Beowulf's fault and he must settle matters for good.
The movie explores some universal themes. The heroes are flawed and they pay for their sins. Redemption comes at a cost. The second half of the movie drags a little as it tries to explore these themes. But it all culminates in one of the most satisfying action sequences in recent memory.
Beowulf, this time determined to finish it for good, hangs on to the dragon as it tries to lose him by plunging into the sea and hitting its side against a cliff. In the end, it is vanquished.
It may take some time to get used to this form of animation before it gets truly rewarding. But for those looking for some good action with a well-paced story, and to find out why Jolie is considered one of the most beautiful women in the world, "Beowulf" is two hours well spent.