Beast review: Idris Elba kicks lion butt in fun survival thriller

Whether or not you may get pleasure from Beast review on the way you reply to the next query: Do you wish to see Idris Elba punch a lion? In case your reply is sure (and it ought to be, let’s be trustworthy), then Beast is 100% the film for you.


Beast does certainly function like Idris Elba punching a lion, however, it’s additionally received a complete lot extra going for it. Within the temper for killer pressure, immersive set items, and compelling household drama? Watch Beast. Looking for the proper adrenaline rush blockbuster to wind down your summer season? Watch Beast. Do you simply actually wish to see Idris Elba punch a lion? (Okay, I’ll have already talked about that a number of instances, however, it bears repeating.) Anyway, watch Beast.

Beast provides us high-stakes man vs. lion motion


Beast stars Elba as Nate, a just lately widowed physician on a trip to South Africa along with his daughters Meredith (Iyana Halley) and Norah (Leah Jeffries). They’re staying at a nature reserve run by household buddy Martin (Sharlto Copley), who launched Nate to his late spouse. For Nate, this journey is a chance to reconnect with Meredith and Norah. They resent him for the way he dealt with the separation from their mom, and for the way, he dealt with her later sickness.


What begins as a stunning safari into the South African bush shortly turns into a nightmare when Nate, Meredith, Norah, and Martin cross paths with a bloodthirsty lion. That is no abnormal lion: He is on a rampage in opposition to people to get revenge on the poachers who murdered his delight. (Do not suppose too onerous about this — what issues is that the lion is indignant and that a complete bunch of badassery is about to go down.)


Director Baltasar Kormákur casts a suspenseful spell along with his use of lengthy monitoring photographs as we comply with our heroes by the bush. There is a fixed sense of motion and immersion all through the movie, whether or not we’re trailing Nate by a deserted village or trying to find the lion within the undergrowth. The reliance on monitoring photographs could make the transitions to static shot-reverse-shot conversations really feel jarring, however total they do their job and so they do it nicely.

A man in the front seat of a car with a broken window.


After which there’s the lion, a stalking, snarling CGI beast that holds up visually all through the movie. It lurks out of body, or typically within the background, biding its time earlier than it will probably come again and are available after Nate and his household once more. It in all probability helps the lion that his prey are virtually constantly making unwise selections — everybody cease leaving the automotive! — however the movie’s core solid sells each less-than-great alternative onerous. Positive, Beast has the occasional wrestle with clunky dialogue — a dialogue about “anti-poaching” is such apparent foreshadowing for a later second that lands with a clumsy thud — however you may nonetheless be cheering by the point Elba punches.


Idris Elba goes dad mode


Elba is totally in protecting father mode for this whole film. His evolution from “dad having hassle regarding his youngsters” to “badass motion hero who will face down a lion for his daughters” is a blast to look at. It is made all the higher by the movie’s earlier scenes, the place he mourns his spouse and tries to attach to Norah and Meredith.


Halley and Jeffries do nice work as Nate’s daughters. Halley nails the stability between Meredith’s worry and her make attempt to stay calm in the face of hazard. And Jeffries is a ray of sunshine as Norah, delivering among the movie’s funniest strains. Along with Elba, they create a portrait of a dysfunctional but loving household, and we will not assist however root for them to make it out of the bush alive.


With its core plot of “hunter vs. hunted,” Beast review makes for an ideal double function with this summer season’s sensible Prey. Each is a character-driven adventure in the wilderness. Each discovers themes of survival and familial bonds. And each function nail-biting pressure and well-executed suspense. Beast scratches the blockbuster itch in an identical option to Prey, and it is simply an all-around good time on the films. There is no higher option to finish your summer season than that.

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