Beast [Grade: 59.99%]

Director: Baltasar Kormákur

Story By: Ryan Engle & Jaime Primak Sullivan

Cast: Idris Elba, Leah Jeffries, Iyana Halley, & Sharlto Copley 

* * *

There are some film ideas that no matter how interesting it “might be,” it still shouldn’t get the green light… at least not when it’s not ripe enough as a story.  

* * *

Theme & Story: D

Pacing: C-

Character: D

Overall “Paper” Score: D

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Entertainment Factors

General Public: Wait for Streaming

Experience Seekers (via Visuals & Score): Don’t Watch

Thriller Fans: Don’t Watch

Overall “Viewing Experience” Score: Don’t Watch

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1. A family on a trip to Africa finds themselves caught in the deadly response of a vengeful lion. This is Beast. 

Thematically, the film attempted to tackle themes connected to “family,” but more specifically the role of the father/“male lion” in a family, and I found it to be pretty underdeveloped and lazy. 

The strength of the story for me was with the lion. There was a clear understanding as to why the lion was lashing out, which impacted the most of the plot’s movement. 👍🏾

What I found to be a struggle was, again, the theme and the family side of the story. I felt that the film was really trying to make fetch happen with the family purpose, but it just didn’t come off as cohesive and genuine for me. Furthermore, it was obvious to me how the writing attempted to parallel the stories of the lion and the family for the theme, and that also missed the mark. I saw the potential, but with the family not really having what I felt to be a well flushed out traumatic experience that impacted the father in the same way the lion was being impacted, it missed the opportunity to be much stronger and beautifully executed than it settled on to be. 🤦🏾‍♂️

2. Leah Jeffries’ hair was ABSOLUTELY gorgeous! 🙌🏾😩

3. I really hated the dream sequences… 🤦🏾‍♂️

4. I appreciated the comments referring to how Lions actually are vs what they were experiencing.  👍🏾👍🏾

5. Beast has a runtime of about 83 minutes, and it was definitely a digestible film in terms of engagement; however, the film moved a little too fast in terms of the family storyline for me. Yes, the film puts the family in the dangerous situation that IS “Beast,” but the film still tried to create this tension within the family to add to the tension regarding the lion, and I couldn’t really buy it or care. At times, I got annoyed that a “family quarrel” was even happening because it just didn’t make sense. 🤦🏾‍♂️

6. That Act Three fight scene was actually well done. Possibly the best moment in the entire film. 👍🏾👍🏾

7. Push through, SCAR! … after the fire. 😂😂

8. Whew, Chile… not the entire village. 🫢

9. I know one thing, they made good use out of that damn truck. 😂🤷🏾‍♂️

10. I wasn’t particularly drawn to any character because no one seemed to be developed enough for me to do so. If anything, I was annoyed with characters—especially Idris’ character. 

As mentioned earlier, thematic cohesion and continuity was rough, especially with our characters. And even though we get that beautiful moment in Act Three where the parallel stories intersect to highlight the theme, I didn’t feel it was grounded on anything because the characters just seemed to be simplistic pawns in the middle of a dangerous lion story. 🤦🏾‍♂️🤦🏾‍♂️

* * *

Overall #Beast gives The Last of Us video game – meets Man’s Best Friend – meets Jurassic Park – meets Daddy’s Little Girls – meets Anaconda

I was never interested in seeing this film from the day I saw the trailer (I don’t even think I posted it as a film that caught my eye via my stories), BUT… I watched because I figured others in our film [re]viewing community would, so why not… (luckily I was able to use my free movie pass for this vs my own coin).

I have this saying for films like this, which is “There are films that actors do that truly take a certain level of their craft and heart, and then there are films that actors do because they need to pay the cable bill…just like any other non-celebrity/real person” (LOL).

This film is Idris needing a direct deposit to pay his bills (LOL)—that side stream of income opportunity. Where I feel the film dropped the ball was with not including a matriarch. I think that could have added so much more to the family story, which then could’ve given more authentic tension to the already tense context of the story, to then open up opportunity for stronger thematic merging and continuity. 

OR…(because the film also comes off heavy on the “male/patriarch”), just do away with whole family and daughters storyline, and build a story around Idris and men alone, or Idris and his buddy taking a trip that turns for the worse. 

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