Idris Elba stars in a pulse-pounding thriller about a father and his two teenage daughters who find themselves hunted by a massive rogue lion intent on proving that the savannah has but one apex predator. Elba plays Dr. Nate Daniels, a recently widowed husband who returns to South Africa, where he first met his wife, on a long-planned trip with their daughters to a game reserve managed by Martin Battles (Sharlto Copley), an old family friend and wildlife biologist. But what begins as a journey of healing jolts into a fearsome fight for survival when a lion, a survivor of blood-thirsty poachers who now sees all humans as the enemy, begins stalking them.
- Great performances by Idris Elba and Sharlto Copley.
- Simple but effective storyline.
- The characters of the children Meredith (Iyana Halley) and Norah (Leah Sava Jeffries) were poorly done. They were unnessesarily annoying.
- “It’s the law of the jungle, and that’s the only law that applies around here.” – Martin Battles (Sharlto Copley).
The evil man-eating lions of Tsavo who terrorized the workmen constructing the railway line between Uganda and Mombasa in 1898 were the subject of the astounding ’90’s monster movie The Ghost and the Darkness. While ‘Beast’ isn’t as much fun as the 1996 movie, it is still enjoyable in a minimalist, frugal manner. Despite being constantly urged to stay put, the characters act quite foolishly and exit vehicles and other secure locations. One can’t keep track of how many times a character tells another to stay in the car or shelter, only to have their request blithely ignored.
Beast will have you at the edge of your seat for the majority of the movie. It is a solid thriller, with jump scares that make you yell and extended takes that make the tension and heart rate rise.
Beast doesn’t pioneer any new territory that hasn’t already been covered by creature features like the aforementioned ‘The Ghost and the Darkness’. However, it is still a strong thriller, supported by Elba’s consistently outstanding work.
If Idris Elba can wrestle lions onscreen, there should be no further arguments about his credentials to be the next James Bond.
4 out of 5
BY KAPA KAUMBA