For a movie made by a lot of people I respect, Beowulf is pretty spectacularly bad. I rented it via iTunes last night and watched it with my girlfriend, and about halfway through I turned to her and commented that I hoped whoever wrote the screenplay was never allowed to write again. Imagine my surprise when we reached the end and I discovered the screenplay was written (at least in part) by Neil Gaiman, one of my favorite authors. Party foul, Neil. Major party foul.
Even worse, they decided to do the entire movie in CGI. While I enjoy a CGI movie as much as the next guy, the director and producers apparently decided to pour all of their budget into kickass water, cloth, and hair. Apparently no one thought to remind them that little things like facial expressions are actually way more important than long flowing locks. As a result, the dialogue sequences are like watching wax dolls who are half-asleep. Add that to the terrible script, and you’ve got a recipe for hilarity, but not in a good way.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a movie you can mock the whole way through, or some mindless fantasy violence, then Beowulf might be for you. Just don’t expect the normally high caliber of the actors and writers to mean anything.