We put up the trailer for Beast a little while ago and it looked pretty good. Beast stars Idris Elba, Sharlto Copley, Leah Jefferies, and Iyana Halley as the main participants. The official story outline says:
A father and his two teenage daughters find themselves hunted by a massive rogue lion intent on proving that the Savanna has but one apex predator.
In reality, in the movie this causes a bit of a problem. The story isn’t overly complex so it is full of padding. For instance, the father and daughter don’t like each other too much. By the end of the movie, can you guess what?
The story isn’t bad, but it is predictable and you can pretty much see where things are going most of the time. Even I found that, and I am historicaly terrible at picking up telegraphing cues in movie plots. There are a couple of more interesting parts, but nothing to write home about and I don’t want to go heavy on spoilers.
What is good is the direction and acting. Well… mostly. Over in the UK Idris Elba has been doing adverts for TV channels and holiday websites. This is such a shame, the guy is an amazing actor.
In Beast he is brilliant and it was nice to see him get his teeth into something. The downside is that one of his daughters was just dull. I don’t know how she got the job through the casting process but she wasn’t very good. Copley is an underrated actor and he was great in this too.
The overall direction is excellent. There are some very complex and difficult shots done without an obvious cut or edit and they really work. Some of them are brutal. There is one lion attack that actually had me squirming a little.
The CG is not perfect, so you know that a lot of the interactions with the lions never took place, but it is done well enough. I would say that there isn’t a shot of a single real lion in the mix but you will mostly believe it is real. Not perfect, but very good. It reminded me of the complex scenes in The Revenant, with De Carpio and the bear.
The technical aspects of this movie are the highpoint with the weak and predictable story as the lowpoint. There isn’t much else you could do with something like this. It’s the same premise as Jaws, but nowhere near as good.
There is a very intense moment at the end and you know what will happen due to a cliche. When it did happen it made me giggle.
However, I wouldn’t say miss Beast because of that. It is a solid movie and I was entertained by it. I was invested in the main characters and their outcomes. I give Beast a solid score. A great technical movie, but let down a little by the story.