Beast Movie Review: Idris Elba’s Duel With a Lion Is Wrapped Up in an Anti-Climactic Match (LatestLY Exclusive)

Beast Movie Review: Idris Elba’s Duel With a Lion Is Wrapped Up in an Anti-Climactic Match (LatestLY Exclusive)

Beast Movie Review: Horror films with a wild animal at the center make for some of the most thrilling and interesting cinema. As we have seen with staples of the genre like Lake Placid, Anaconda and the recent release, Crawl – these movies have done a good job at taking the beasts of the wild and putting them up in a situation that brings out the thrills. However, Beast isn’t able to do that as it feels like the movie is trying to reach a climactic showdown, but takes the needle off from the player just as the beat is about to drop. The Lord of the Rings – The Rings of Power Series Review: Tolkien’s Fantasy World Wrapped Up in a Dull Plot (Fresh Headline Exclusive).

Directed by Baltasar Kormakur from a story by Jaime Primak Sullivan and a screenplay from Ryan Engle, Beast takes us to the wildlands of Africa. When Nate Samuels (Idris Elba) takes his two daughters Meredith (Iyana Halley) and Norah (Leah Sava Jeffries) to the place where their mother grew up, they find themselves in the territory of an enraged lion while on a safari. What was a normal holiday, quickly turns into a fight for survival.

A Still From Beast (Photo Credit: Universal Pictures)

Beast opens up with what looks like its commentary on poaching of animals. While the point here is present, it never really runs with it and pushes us right into the story of Nate and his dynamic with daughters. Joining them along is Martin (Sharlto Copley), an anti-poacher and a close family-friend of Nate’s, and so begins the adventure of our gang.

What stands out the most while watching Beast is the inspired camerawork that DOP Philippe Rousselot brings along with him. With almost every scene having a one-shot take in it, it helps keep things interesting. So much of the film takes place inside a car and the claustrophobia of Beast is a highlight thanks to the cinematography. It also doesn’t constantly cut away from the actors. Helping highlight their talent on screen, Idris Elba does his best portraying a father who has lived a life full of regrets. Trying to connect with his daughters, Iyana Halley and Leah Sava Jeffries do quite well with the material given to them as well, but the writing occasionally does let down their characters.

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Suffering from the constant issue of being the two annoying characters in a survival-thriller, there were times where some frustrating decisions were made by them. There is a lion stalking you, so is the first thing you decide to do is getting out of the car? There is also some unnatural line delivery sprinkled throughout the short 90 minutes runtime, but it never gets too distracting. Sharlto Copley makes for a nice surprise where the District 9 star elevates the stakes of the film, and his anti-poacher character establishes the need for a seasoned individual in the midst of a tense situation.

The lion in Beast is quite well animated. While the threat of him isn’t used to the full effect, the claustrophobic setting of the movie makes for a few interesting sequences that allows the carnage of the lion be showcased in full effect. While it’s not as violent as you would expect it to be, the escalation to many sequences is very well done that it ultimately leads up to Idris Elba punching him in the face. I am a simple man, show me Idris Elba punching a lion in the face and I will be happy. Nope Movie Review: Jordan Peele, Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer’s Immersive UFO Adventure Is a Visually Thrilling Experience! (Fresh Headline Exclusive).

A Still From Beast (Photo Credit: Universal Pictures)

However, the build-up of those scenes is squandered and Beast is pretty anticlimactic when it comes to sticking the landing. It never really lets go of itself and is constantly being held back. You can feel a tight rope pulling it from unleashing full-on carnage which doesn’t make the scenes seem as gripping as they should have been. Beast never gets its huge monster moment and it ultimately suffers from being exciting without any payoff.

Yay!

Camera Work

Idris Elba Punches a Lion

Nay!

Nonsensical Decisions by Some Characters

Feels Like its Holding Itself Back

Final Thoughts

While Beast has some good performances from Idris Elba and Sharlto Copley with some inspired camera work in the mix, it never reaches the heights that the other great films in its genre were able to achieve. With majority of the movie feeling like a build-up to a payoff that hardly ever comes, this Idris Elba-starrer was an anti-climactic affair. Beast is playing in theatres right now.

(The above story first appeared on Fresh Headline on Sep 02, 2022 08:40 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website freshheadline.com).