The Stream: A slow start gets bogged down by a nonsensical and empty plot.
The Big Screen: Tension is high, and it keeps you on the edge of your seat.
The Final Bill: A good thriller despite its slow beginning and meaningless storyline.– S2S: Movie Review
Director: Ferdinando Cito Filomarino
Writers: Kevin A. Rice (screenplay by), Ferdinando Cito Filomarino (story by)
Stars: Stars John David Washington, Boyd Holbrook, Vicky Krieps
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Runtime: 1 hour 43 minutes
Platform: Netflix Aug. 13, 2021
Earlier this year, Netflix pledged to have new film releases each weekend of 2021. I don’t know when that was supposed to start, but Beckett was one of its film premieres from last weekend. Beckett is a contained film set in Greece starring John David Washington as the title character with small roles from Alicia Vikander and Vicky Krieps. The synopsis goes as follows: Beckett, an American tourist, and his girlfriend (Vikander), are on an romantic getaway in Greece when a tragic car accident upends his vacation and mires him a political conspiracy that may cost him his life. Here’s how I see it.
Beckett is an easy watch. If you have seen the trailer, you know exactly what you are going to get; but the way it comes at you is the interesting part. For a movie that is supposed to be a thriller, the first 10-20 minutes that establish Beckett as a character and his relationship seem very disconnected from the rest of the movie, but it’s setting up the stakes. Once the plot kicks into high gear, what Beckett goes through becomes relentless – the camera work and music throughout help keep the tension high. In fact, as I watched the movie, I felt like it had some good Hitchcockian vibes. The sense that an unwitting, everyman gets chased and threatened by some overarching government conspiracy sets the essential stage of a taut thriller, not to mention that Beckett is in a foreign country with a language barrier. I could see Beckett as the Cary Grant character from North by Northwest. The problem with Beckett is that the reasons Beckett is being chased make no sense. The explanation is unsatisfactory and wholly forgettable. They probably shouldn’t even have tried to explain it. Nevertheless, once John David Washington started running from the bad guys, I was completely engrossed. That was enough for me.
Side note: I think this is John David Washington’s best performance since Blackkklansman.
Beckett is a good thriller that hits its stride about 20 minutes in. The first section is a bit of a slog, but if you make it through that, the thrill of the chase will get you. If you are looking for a decent film with suspenseful elements, you could do worse than Beckett. Grab a bowl of popcorn and enjoy.