review by Bobby Blakey
When handled right there is just something both entertaining and terrifying about real life animals wreaking havoc and terrorizing people. The latest, Beast looks to deliver just that and stars Idris Elba, Sharlto Copley, Iyana Halley, and Leah Jeffries from Everest, 2 Guns and Contraband director Baltasar Kormáku. Could this flick bring some fun animal chaos or will it be to tame to deliver?
Beast follows recently widowed father Dr. Nate Samuels who returns to South Africa with his two daughters Meredith and Norah to visit an old friend, Martin Battles on a game reserve. What begins as a journey of healing turns into a fearsome fight for survival as his family find themselves hunted by a massive, rogue lion intent on proving that the savannah has but one apex predator.
I thought the trailers for this had potential, but also looked pretty generic so wasn’t really sure what to expect. It offers up just enough story to set everything to get us in to the upcoming fight for their lives. There is a little to many back stories than really necessary for this film, but I get trying to build the tension and add some depth to their relationships. For this kind of film it just isn’t really necessary, but doesn’t hurt the film either.
Elba and Copley are both good as always, but its not the kind of movie bringing in the Oscar performances, but instead just to have some violent fun with the action terror of it all and on that point it delivers. Sure it is ridiculous at times especially with the amount of damage Elba’s character takes at the hands of the lion since it should have killed him way faster, but that is also what makes it fun. You just buy into what is going on and the simple reasoning behind it all and the film entertains.
Where this film really shines and was a necessity was the lion itself. The CGI used is really good offering up one of the most believable animals used this way in some time. This is a ferocious blood thirsty beast that when you see you know hell is coming with it. It moves fast and without care with its only objective to kill everything in its path. There is a great sequence early on that works the best fighting around a truck. The rest of the film is a game of cat and mouse with the lion stalking them that keeps things moving.
My biggest issue with the film is a usual thing for these kinds of films and it is the kids involved. There always has to be one that is super annoying and doesn’t listen to anyone hence making bad decisions or putting others in danger. Here at least she does some good, but just annoyed me to no end. The same will be for the final confrontation between Elba and the lion which is a bit more far-fetched, but so much fun to watch I was able to let it go.
In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including a deleted scene and featurettes that show how they brought this beast to life.
Decide for yourself and join the fight for survival when Beast available now on digital and then on Blu-ray and DVD on October 11th from Universal Home Entertainment.