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An epic farce

The Baltimore Sun

Owing more to the sword-and-sex-play fantasies of 12-year-olds than the traditions of Old English poetry, Robert Zemeckis' Beowulf will allow adolescents to have their cheesecake - and beefcake - and eat it, too.

Old Hollywood's moviemakers used to set their toga sagas in Rome when Christianity was poised to usurp paganism, so they could exploit nude milk baths and gladiatorial combat while bewailing godless excess.

Beowulf (Paramount Pictures) Starring Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Robin Wright Penn, Angelina Jolie. Directed by Robert Zemeckis. Rated PG-13. Time 114 minutes.

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