Beowulf (12A)

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The Independent Culture

Students who have struggled through the epic poem from the 10th century will probably be startled by this eye-popping live-action treatment from Forrest Gump director Robert Zemeckis. Did they ever envisage that the Viking warrior Beowulf parading around in the buff and sounding like Ray Winstone? For it is he! "I am Beowulf," he cries in ringing cockney, "and I have come to kill your monsta!" And when those students pictured the mother of Grendel, did she bear any resemblance to Angelina Jolie in heels?

Whatever the liberties taken, this Beowulf, seen in glorious performance-capture 3D at the Imax, makes for rip-roaring entertainment. There's plenty of campery, inevitable when you have Anthony Hopkins and John Malkovich in the voice cast, but for all the ham-inatronic moments, it looks terrific.

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