Friday, January 20, 2023

Beast (2022)

Streaming Service: Peacock
Movie Name/Year: Beast (2022)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Length:  1h 33min
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: Universal Pictures, RVK Studios, Will Packer Productions
Director: Baltasar Kormákur
Writers: Jaime Primak Sullivan, Ryan Engle
Actors: Idris Elba, Sharlto Copley, Amara Miller, Billy Gallagher, Damon Burtley, Dorian Hedgewood, Hudson Anne-Black, Iyana Halley, Leah Jeffries, Mel Jarnson
IMDb Blurb: 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.

Cat’s Point of View:
This month, we’re running into quite a few movies that I’m re-watching for the second time (or more). Beast is one that I just couldn’t wait until we got to putting it on the schedule. I watched it the moment it was available via Xfinity’s On Demand. I was more than happy to give it another watch-through now that it’s hit Peacock. Beast was, after all, my #3 pick for August 2022’s Top 20.
I adore a good creature feature. There’s just something enjoyably thrilling in a story of relentless pursuit by an entity that can’t be reasoned with – in this case, a rogue lion. Beast also skillfully layered in some conflicting emotions regarding the film’s feline antagonist. You can’t help but feel bad for the situation the lion found himself in, and you can’t really blame the big cat for the revenge spree. At the same time. It’s tragic how others get caught in the proverbial crossfire along the way. The subtext here regarding big game poachers in Africa is also quite clear. It remains a huge problem.

Beast was really everything I hoped it would be, and gave me more than I asked for with the dramatic personal story of the characters fighting for survival. The setting in South Africa was well utilized and they got some really gorgeous shots while also accomplishing the difficult task of making settings feel almost claustrophobic while still in the vast middle of nowhere. The CGI animators also deserve some big kudos. Realistically, it makes sense that a modern production wouldn’t be mingling real lions with actors. All of the animals in Beast were CGI rendered, and I honestly forgot while I was watching the film.
Idris Elba (The Harder They Fall, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Three Thousand Years of Longing)  and Sharlto Copley (The A-Team, Chappie, Free Fire) were also big draws to this production for me, and their performances didn’t disappoint – as usual. The young ladies sharing the screen with them impressively held their own, as well.
Beast didn’t break any new ground with its story, but I was firmly perched at the edge of my seat through the whole runtime. I was also surprised to find that the tension director Baltasar Korm├íkur (Everest, 2 Guns, Adrift) captured with this narrative was no less intense for a second watch-through. If you’re down with this cast or this particular creature concept, Beast is absolutely worth a shot.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 68%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 77%
Metascore – 54%
Metacritic User Score – 4.8/10
IMDB Score –5.6 /10
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 4/5
Movie Trailer:

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