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Beast (2022) Movie Review

My Cat Persephone Wrote this Review on her Smartphone. It was better than Mine. .

Don't bring a knife to a knife fight against a lion.

Don't bring a knife to a knife fight against a lion.

Running Time

93 Minutes

Devouring Time

About Half of 93 minutes.

Director

Baltasar Kormakur

Writers

Ryan Engle, Jamie Primak Sullivan (Story By)

MPAA Rating

R

It’s the easiest plot description in the world other than a Jurassic World/Park film or one of those insipid Fast and Furious movies.

Yes, it’s the one where Idris Elba fights a lion. You’ve seen at least some of the promos and if that doesn’t hook you in then nothing will because movie descriptions could not get any simpler. It’s nearing the end of summer and if you’re looking for something to watch before the Oscar bait starts flooding the theaters, Beast is definitely a movie that’s available to you for the price of a ticket.

The choice is clear: 30-something murderous women pretending to be adolescent children (Orphan First Kill) or Idris Elba fights a lion. Either way you’ll be wondering if there’s anything good coming out next week because both movies allow your mind to drift because no one gives a f*ck about plot if you plan to watch either of these. You’re glad choices are this easy sometimes.

"I can't see through this window!"

SYNOPSIS VS A LION.

Idris Elba fights a lion in order to save his family. That’s all you need to know.

But if you want to pretend you care about story, here’s me trying to expound on a one sentence description because you really want character and story to see a movie called Beast with a giant lion on the onesheet.

Beast opens somewhere in South Africa. We see a bunch of natives with subtitles acting agitated, most likely because of a beast because the movie’s called Beast. They seem worried that something is going to eat them and we the audience are really hoping they get eaten because that would be a great way to open the movie.

There’s women, men, and children all scrambling and making noise. Do you know what would shut them up? A giant lion devouring each and every one of them before the credits roll. Sorry natives, none of you are Idris Elba so we’re fine with you getting eaten.

Beast opens again with Dr. Nate Samuels (Idris Elba- Hobbs and Shaw, Star Trek Beyond) sleeping in a vehicle. Nate is dreaming of his dead wife. Idris Elba is having a nightmare of being in Cats and is trying to make amends by being in a not-terrible movie having to do with cats.

Nate is traveling with his daughters Mare (Iyanna Halley) and Norah (Leah Jeffries) and they’re bummed that mom is dead from cancer. Nothing like traveling all over the world with your dad to try and bond or whatever before the lion attacks.

Nate met his wife in South Africa and he hasn’t been back in decades. He’s decided to take Mare and Norah to the village where he met their mother. They’re meeting an old friend Martin (Sharlto Copley) and he’ll show them around a South African game preserve safely until the lion attacks.

It's filled with water.

It's filled with water.

Mare’s been silently resentful of her dad because he left just before their mother got sick and died. Nate says that they mutually separated right before the illness struck. Mare and Norah are sullen.

We’re wondering how long it’s going to take before a lion attacks because this domestic exposition is getting tiresome.

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Don’t worry, it’s not long now.

The next morning Martin takes the sad family over to a game preserve to see nature in all her glory. Look at the non-attacking lions. Fun.

They then got to the village where Dr. Nate met his future dead wife and their future dead mother.

But there’s something different about the village. It’s been attacked and everyone is dead.

“The last time I was in this village there were more people not brutally killed by an animal,” Nate says.

Martin is doubly worried because there aren’t any hyenas tearing flesh from bones right now. That could only mean one thing. The beast(!) is still close. Isn’t it though?

What killed Dead People Village was a gigantic lion, if you couldn’t tell that from every piece of promotion. Lions usually eat what they kill and they don’t normally just kill indiscriminately and leave the bodies.

But this lion is different. This lion wants revenge. Why? You’ll have to wait for a very poignant speech about its past to find out. Right now, the lion (Bradley Cooper) has his eyes set on Nate and the kids because in 2019 he wasted two hours on his life sitting through Cats. While lion can’t get those two hours back, he can destroy the remaining cast members.

Judi Dench- eaten.

Taylor Swift- eaten.

Idris Elba- TBD.

"I'm sorry I was in Cats"

"I'm sorry I was in Cats"

What Works With Beast.

  • The reason you see Beast and not a movie called Doctor Nate South African Widower. The lion attacks are the only reason to see this movie and when they come they are well worth the time and money you spent. Director Baltasar Kormakur knows exactly how to toy with your expectations and surprise. You want to see the lion? You will, but not always in the manner you expect.
Nope.

Nope.

What Doesn’t Work With Beast.

  • Anything not having to do with Idris Elba fighting the lion. You patiently wait for the familial and familiar setup before the lion attacks but we all know you don’t give a f*ck about Nate and his family and a part of you is hoping the lion eats one of the daughters because Nate has two of them. The family stuff is perfunctory and generic and the filmmakers know it. The movie’s barely 85 minutes long and the non-lion stuff is kept to the minimum.

Overall.

A nature vs. human movie that fulfills the bare minimum entertainment requirements. You know what you want from a movie like this and you get it more or less. A B-movie with Idris Elba earning a paycheck. You’ve seen worse.

Really 2.5

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2022 Noel Penaflor

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