Beast of Burden       review by Bobby Blakey

Daniel Radcliffe is one of those young actors that has had a successful career transition from child to adult actor with some great roles in films like Imperium, Swiss Army Man and Horns. Now he is looking to continue this run with his latest film Beast of Burden. The film alos stars Pablo Schreiber and Grace Gummer with Jesper Ganslandt directing a script by Adam Hoelzel, but does it offer up anything to help it stand out or will it end up being a crash landing?

Beast of Burden follows pilot Sean Haggerty must deliver cocaine across the US-Mexico border for his final run as a drug smuggler. Alone in a small plane, he is faced with the burden of choosing between his allegiance to the Cartel, his deal with the Drug Enforcement Administration and saving his increasingly tense relationship with his wife, eagerly awaiting his return. I really dig movies that try to tell a story in a unique way and here they tried to do just that with the majority of the film focused on Radcliffe in the pilot’s seat. Throughout the film he is bouncing between phone calls while flying this plane that tries to set the tone of everything going to.

This method has worked well in other films and was fine here, but sadly it fails to ever find the thrills it is looking to create. The phone calls bounce so rapidly between each other there is rarely a time when you get fully invested in the conversation. There are some flashbacks infused throughout the film to help tell the story, but even with these I just never could get fully invested. Once the film gets to its climax it gets a bit more exciting, but still ended up being a bit too simple to really offer anything that stands out. Radcliffe is great in the role, but it’s just not enough to make the movie work overall.

While this film didn’t work all that well for me I applaud Radcliffe for continuing to take on a variety of roles and giving them his all. Decide for yourself and check out Beast of Burden in select theaters, On Demand and on Digital HD now from Momentum Pictures.

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