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Beast movie Review – All You need to Know/

Beast stars Idris Elba and Charlto Coopley and comes to us from the director of such films as Two Guns and Everest, amongst many others. So a father and his two teenage daughters find themselves hunted by a massive rogue lion intent on proving that the Savannah has but one apex predator. There’s a special place in my heart for a good old-fashioned monster movie.

And even though a lion is a real animal that exists on earth, in every way beast is a creature feature. If this movie was released in the 90s as is, it would have been rated R, I wouldn’t have been able to see it as a kid, and I would have waited for a few years for it to come on network television, edited for content, and I would have ran to my VCR to program the shit out of that thing to make sure that I wouldn’t miss it.

 This is exactly that kind of movie, and if you inhabit a space in which you really enjoy watching a movie in which people face off against something much stronger than them, a primal force of some kind, and cell phones and radios and all forms of contact have to be removed from the equation, then beast is right up your alley. It’s Idris Elba versus a lion in the African wilderness.

That’s it. Don’t go in expecting anything other than that, and you’ll have a good time at the movies. I’m probably going to pronounce this name wrong, but the director, Balthasar Kormacher, took a unique approach to this movie in that a lot of it is filmed in very long continuous takes. Some of them are stitched together with CGI to hide the edits, but there’s a lot of really long takes early on in the movie.

Setting up characters, setting up location. What this has added to the movie is a very unique feel that I haven’t seen from what could normally be described as a very conventional movie. This technique made the environment come to life. I really felt like I was there. You see so much around the characters behind them and in the distance.

It really does feel sometimes like the horizon stretches on forever, and there was one sequence introducing a pride of lions where you meet very integral characters, and you go from wides to mediums to close-ups, and I just kept picturing the first AC standing behind the camera, like sweating bullets, trying to make sure the focus stays perfect. It was actually really impressive. Even the way he introduces the lion felt unconventional.

It’s usually in a wide from the camera being very close to the characters. Not quite a POV, but you feel as if you see what they see. I’ve only seen it once, but I can’t even recall a time where the lion’s POV is a shot. You’re almost always with the characters, and if the lion shows up, it’s because its head rose over the brush, or because it’s running towards them, and I thought that was a great way of making us feel like we’re in the character’s shoes during this horrific situation.

With movies like this, you front load the character. You know everything about the characters, they’re past the pertinent emotional information within the first 10 or 12 minutes of the movie. You have to know all of that because once shit goes down, there’s no time to talk about that stuff. You have to just be on the run. And so Idris Elba does a great job of maintaining a level of not just emotion and caring about his daughters, but there’s this fierce, consistent adrenaline that he has to maintain.

And he’s just fantastic in the movie. So he’s shalt so co-oply. I loved seeing him in a film. He doesn’t show up that much. If I were to nitpick about this movie, I would start talking about logic. I would start talking about character choices. I would talk about the cell phone signal and the radio signal and how certain things are set up.

And you’re like, yeah, that’s probably going to pay off. And it’s not like you watch this movie hoping to psychoanalyze it. I mean, maybe you do, but I don’t. I don’t go to see a movie where the poster is Idris Elba versus a lion. Ready to put my thinking cap on and break down every emotional beat of beast. It’s a movie where Idris Elba fights a lion in the African wilderness and that’s exactly what I got.

And I was super excited about it. All that being said, the eldest daughter in the film seems to have been written as the character that will make the stupid choices that sometimes get them in the middle of harm’s way. There’s a few times the movie where she does things that I think the writer’s goal was to portray her being brave, but it just made her look kind of silly.

And there were other choices she made like randomly honking the horn in the car to get someone’s attention, things like that that just seemed like a very stupid thing to do that I even heard audience members begin to like talk to the screen and be like, why are you doing that? There were moments like that that did take me out of it for a few beats.

When it comes to movies like this, it’s so important that characters make choices that make sense. When you have a film that’s essentially one contained period of time where it’s a group of characters against some kind of primal force where the entire goal is survive and protect the people you love, it’s really all about choices.

How do you get out of a situation and how does the antagonist in this case align and keep the characters in that situation so the movie doesn’t end. And you have to make sure the character choices always work. In this case, I mostly followed along with it, but there were a few times where I was like, come on, don’t do that, that’s just stupid. But honestly, I left the theater energized.

This is the kind of movie I want to see more of. I don’t always need to go to a theater and have some incredible cathartic experience that challenges my emotion. Sometimes I just want to see Idris Elba punch a line in the face. So check it out, I do think it’s worth your time if this kind of film is up your alley. Guys, thank you so much as always for reading.

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