Rated 2.0

The answer to the question, “Why on earth did Robert Zemeckis decide to do this in animation?” it seems, lies in specialized 3-D and IMAX theaters. Unfortunately there’s nothing of the kind in Chico. So, we’re stuck with the flat version of an epic, with actors painted over with digital ink that sucks the life right out of them. The Old English tale opens in a town inhabited by a dreadful demon named Grendel that strikes at the merriest of moments. King Hrothgar (Anthony Hopkins) offers a handsome reward to whoever can kill him. Beowulf (an almost completely digitized Ray Winstone), a warrior with more than a few slayings under his belt, arrives to be the town’s savior. Battles of epic proportions ensue, and there is plenty of bloodshed. But trying to read expressions on the characters’ lifeless faces, particularly that of Queen Wealthow (Robin Wright Penn), is just plain frustrating. What’s the point, really, in having a cast of great actors only to paint over their greatest tools?