Watch Out for the Beast of the South African Wild

The Stream: Very simple story with almost no plot.

The Big Screen: The tension and suspense are high.

The Final Bill: Beast is a very tense movie, but there is very little point to it.

– Trip Fontaine
Director: Baltasar Kormákur
Writers: Ryan Engle, Jaime Primak Sullivan
Stars: Idris Elba, Sharlto Copley, Iyana Halley, Leah Jeffries
Genre: Adventure, Drama
Rating: R for violent content, bloody images and some language.
Runtime: 1 hour 27 minutes
Production Companies: Universal Pictures, RVK Studios, Will Packer Productions
Platform: In theaters August 19, 2022
Notable Trailers: Breaking, Medieval, Black Adam, Halloween Ends, Ticket to Paradise

Hey, Streamers! As the summer winds down, it really is slim pickings in the theaters these days. Last weekend, I saw that Idris Elba movie where he is stalked by a psychotic lion. Yeah, remember that one. It’s called Beast. It’s kind of like a monster movie, only this “monster” is a CGI lion. Anyway, here’s whether you should take this safari.

Beast, directed by Balthasar, Kormakur, follows Dr. Nate Samuels (Elba) as he takes his daughters to South Africa to see where he and their mother, who recently passed away, met. They are met by Nate’s friend, Martin (Copley), who will show them around the village and take them on safari. Mayhem and lion-related hijinks ensue.

There really isn’t much to Beast. If you’ve seen the trailer for the movie, then you get the gist. There’s a murderous lion on the loose, but no one really knows why. The movie does offer an explanation that is reasonable, but I feel like the ultimate resolution of the movie undercuts that explanation. As for the people, there is some background family tension that is established in the first 15-ish minutes; but that’s all very meh. It’s used to develop the bond between Nate and his daughters. Okay… whatever.

I will say that the lion is pretty scary. There are some really tense moments throughout the movie. You never know where the animal is coming and how vicious it’s going to be. I guess the visual effects are pretty good. The climactic final fight is pretty amazing. The best part of the movie is that it does not overstay its welcome. It is less than 90 minutes. The problem is there isn’t enough story here to justify the trip to the theaters.

S2S: Official Rating Scale

While Beast does its best to keep the audience in suspense and harness the tension of the mammoth lion stalking its prey, there really is very little doubt about what’s going to occur here. As much as I want to advocate supporting an Idris Elba movie, I can’t really say that paying to see Beast is worth it. I enjoyed it, but Beast could have been a Netflix or Hulu movie and does not require a trip to the theater. It’s just a handful of popcorn, so catch it when it comes to streaming.