This is an odd mixed medieval, scifi and steam punk version of the 6th Century poem Beowulf. It has a pumping score and soundtrack with great visuals and plenty of over the top dialogue and action. Despite a made TV feel director Graham Baker offers leather, weapons, castles, dungeons and a practical rubber suit Grendel hidden behind some CGI reminiscent Predator mixed with Alien.
With the prowess of Filmation’s He-Man Christopher Lambert is Beowulf, sporting a Sting-like bleached hairdo. Corset squeezed Rhona Mitra is stunning as Kyra although given little to do. Model Layla Roberts shows up as the Grendel’s mother and a succubus to effectively woo Oliver Cotton who plays Hrothgar. Former Bond bad guy Götz Otto also features and The Mummy’s Patricia Velasquez briefly appears as Pendra. The cast wrestle with the script and for unexplained reasons the voices of the main cast have been re-dubbed (with their very own voices) which can be distracting as the timing of the loop is slightly off like an old Kung fu film.
Even though made prior to The Mummy Returns the CGI Scorpion King looking monster in the closing act isn’t as convincing as Lambert’s stunt double’s Rutger Hauer looking hair and somersaults.It hasn’t budget or the finesse of The 13th Warrior (1999) or Outlander (2008) and lacks the seriousness of Beowulf and the Grendel (2005) but it’s far more fun than the lustre 2007 3D Beowulf version.
Watch it if only for the costumes and Mitra.