Naturally, we humans have fears, right? Especially with things that have no control over, and time and time again this tends to be the wild and its wildlife. We have had our fair share of animal survival movies, some good and some not grand at all, and Beast falls in that not-so-great category. Not even the great and compelling actor Idris Elba can make this horrifically written script look good, and It makes you wonder why Elba would consider a project like this.
Beast, directed by Baltasar Kormákur and starring Elba as this ass-kicking father in an adventure set in South Africa, is a beautifully shot film by cinematographer Philippe Rousselot. Unfortunately, all the talent sitting behind this film doesn’t justify the poorly written script from Ryan Engle (Rampage); the film promises so much to the audience but fails to get you to buy into any of it.
However, there is some fun to be had here. Just not enough to make you forget all the things it doesn’t get right. Beast follows the story of Nate (Elba), a widowed doctor who arrives in South Africa with his two teenage daughters (Iyana Halley and Leah Jeffries) to grieve the loss of their mother. They go and visit a family friend Martin (starring South African-born Sharlto Copley), who is an anti-poacher conservationist. The family visits a nearby village where the mother was born; Nate dreams about this place and the spot where his late wife’s favorite tree still stands. During this time, a group of poachers end up murdering some of the “Kings of the Jungle” (the lions) but leaves one alive. As you might guess, this lion is pissed and goes rogue leaving a trail of human blood in the nearby village. This leaves Nate feeling guilty about leaving his wife when she was diagnosed, all while his daughters are trapped inside the safari vehicle that is being attacked by the lion.
To make it simple, Beast is just not very convincing in any way or form; how does a human male fight a 500lb or more lion? The script just doesn’t make it any convincing whatsoever, and despite the film’s fun, it ends up being an extremely boring mess that doesn’t deliver.
However, the acting in this film is great and does not falter with any of the performances. Despite Elba being saddled with terrible and clunky dialogue for his character, he does elevate the material what little he can as we have come to expect from Elba. It just goes to show no matter how bad or poorly written a script he’s working with, he still knows how to deliver it well, doesn’t he? The CGI lion is pretty awful and not the least bit convincing. Though the movie has some fun moments and some great action, its awful screenplay cannot fully win you over. Beast is not a “beast” of a flick.
Beast is currently playing in theaters courtesy of Universal Pictures.
Beast is not a "beast" of a flick.
It all started when I was a kid watching Saturday morning cartoons like the Spider-Man: Animated Series and Batman. Since then I’ve been hooked to the world of pop culture. Huge movie lover from French New Wave, to the latest blockbusters, I love them all. Huge Star Wars and Marvel geek. When I’m free from typing away at my computer, you can usually catch me watching a good flick or reading the next best comic. Come geek out with me on Twitter @somedudecody.