Watch Beowulf

  • R
  • 1999
  • 1 hr 35 min
  • 4.1  (12,484)

Beowulf is a 1999 science fiction-fantasy film directed by Graham Baker and loosely inspired by the Anglo-Saxon epic poem of the same name. The movie stars Christopher Lambert as the titular character, Rhona Mitra as Kyra, and Oliver Cotton as Hrothgar. Set in a dystopian future that melds dark ages aesthetics with post-apocalyptic technology, Beowulf delivers an original twist to the ancient legend.

In this reimagined narrative, the world has descended into a bleak and gritty era where remnants of past civilizations linger amidst new barbaric societies. Castles and crude mechanical devices exist alongside electric lighting and other anachronistic technologies, creating a unique atmosphere that transcends the boundaries of time. The film begins by establishing this atmospheric setting that feels simultaneously ancient and yet strangely futuristic.

The central character, Beowulf, portrayed by Christopher Lambert, is a warrior with a mysterious past. He carries the demeanor of a man who has seen too many battles, which is etched deeply into his world-weary eyes and calmly resolute presence. Beowulf arrives at a fortress seemingly out of nowhere, but with a reputation that precedes him, and he is enigmatic and skilled, speaking through actions more often than words, which serves to heighten the sense of enigma that surrounds his character.

The fortress, ruled by the aging king Hrothgar (Oliver Cotton), is under siege by a monstrous and relentless entity that terrorizes the inhabitants within. Hrothgar and his people live in fear and desperation as this beast, which is both cunning and brutal, has managed to outsmart and overpower all who have dared to challenge it. Their world is one of darkness and desperation, a stark contrast to the hero's seemingly unshakeable resolve.

Enter Rhona Mitra's character, Kyra, who is a headstrong woman with her own complexities. She is not merely a damsel; rather, she is a warrior in her own right, capable and willing to stand alongside the men in defense of the fortress. Amid the chaos, Kyra emerges as a beacon of hope, her strength and determination matched only by Beowulf himself. Her relationship with Beowulf becomes pivotal as the film progresses, allowing for an exploration of loyalty, honor, and the unfolding human connections in a brutal world.

The siege is relentless, with the creature attacking with ferocity and an intelligence that suggests it is more than just a mindless beast. This introduces an undercurrent of mystery to the film, as it's not immediately clear what the monster wants or why it is so intent on destruction. The creature's origins and connections to the characters bring a deeper dimension to the narrative, giving it a sense of depth beyond the mere action and spectacle.

As Beowulf integrates himself into the life of the besieged fort, he begins to form bonds with its inhabitants, revealing the layers of his character beneath the hardened exterior. His silence and stoicism are contrasted with moments of introspection and glimpses of a deeper moral code that guide his actions, reflecting the complexity of the man behind the myth. Beowulf's past is hinted at but never fully unveiled, keeping the audience intrigued and engaged in the unraveling of his enigmatic nature.

The film is punctuated with action sequences that are both brutal and stylistic, showcasing Beowulf's prowess in combat and his innovative tactics against the seemingly insurmountable odds. These scenes are choreographed with a sense of kinetic energy, combining elements of hand-to-hand combat, weaponry, and the strategic use of the environment itself.

Themes of heroism, legacy, and the struggle between humanity and its darker impulses run through the narrative. Both Beowulf and Kyra embody the struggle for light in the darkness, each in their own unique ways. Their characters grow and develop as the menace of the creature forces them to confront not only physical danger but also questions of identity and purpose.

Throughout the movie, the stylized set design and costume choices serve to reinforce the film's otherworldly landscape. The gloomy interiors of the fortress, the fog-laden exteriors, and the eclectic blend of medieval and post-industrial elements make for a visually arresting film that offers a unique take on the post-apocalyptic genre.

In conclusion, Beowulf (1999) stands as a distinctive retelling of a classic tale, reimagined to fit a world where the lines between myth and reality, past and future, are blurred. With strong performances by Christopher Lambert, Rhona Mitra, and Oliver Cotton, the film presents a grim yet fascinating world where heroes are shaped not just by their victories, but by the shadows they confront within themselves and their environments. The movie promises a journey both thrilling and thoughtful, making it an interesting watch for fans of the genre.

Beowulf is a 1999 adventure movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 35 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 4.1.

Where to Watch Beowulf
Beowulf is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Beowulf for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 35 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    4.1  (12,484)