English lit majors might never recognize Robert Zemeckis' manic, depressing, video-game-style version of the legend of the eponymous Danish warrior hero (voice of Ray Winstone) locking horns with the mucous-dripping monster Grendel (an unintelligible Crispin Glover) and a fire-breathing dragon, while Grendel's witch queen mother (Angelina Jolie, again with the accent) hovers nearby. Hard to rate the acting through all the performance-capture animation, but generally Winstone, Jolie, Anthony Hopkins (King Hrothgar), and a bitchy John Malkovich (Unferth) hold their ground as characters. Poor Robin Wright Penn seems more animatronic than she should be as Princess Wealthow, along with the dogs and horses. When seen in 3-D IMAX the overall effect is Big, as befits the flatulent return of the Nordic superman. Adapted by graphic novelist Neil Gaiman and screenwriter Roger Avary (114 min., 2007).
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