Beast hails from Icelandic director Baltasar Kormakur (Adrift, 2 Guns) with cinematographer Philippe Roousselot capturing this tale of a rogue animal terrorizing a family. With a ninety minute runtime, you may consider taking a chance on Idris Elba and Sharlto Copley facing off against a menacing lion.
Be warned, Beast is a genre B-movie that does little to reinvent or entertain, relying solely on the charisma of Elba and Copley. As engaging as the actors are onscreen, it’s not enough to raise this August release above the benchmark of basic survival thriller. Roousselot’s camerawork successfully pumps up the excitement and tension at several points, but it can’t make up for a lackluster script credited to Ryan Engle.
We’ve seen Elba play a convincing and caring father in James Gunn’s Suicide Squad (2021). With Beast, he once again slides into the role of a father redeeming himself through some extreme measures of protecting his own cubs against a larger, fiercer predator. Unfortunately, Engle’s script makes the children so inept that you may very well find yourself rooting against them.
One can’t avoid comparing Beast with the recent Predator film, Prey, as they both examine the pecking order of the animal kingdom and defending one’s family (or tribe) from external forces. Surprisingly, it’s Beast that requires more suspension of disbelief — not Hulu’s alien-safari-film set in the 1700s.
Beast is a palpable slice of summer entertainment that demands little of the viewer, and as a result you won’t hate this 90-minute-toothy-adventure… but chances are, you won’t be talking about the film beyond the walk back to the car.
Letter Grade: D