Is Beast referring to the lion terrorizing his family or Idris Elba? The jury is still out.
If you have read my reviews before, you know that I have a type. I love ridiculous movies. The more nonsensical, the better. Of course, I love the prestige, Academy Award winning fare, but more than anything, I love movies that make me go, “huh?” and “what?”
With this in mind, you can imagine my excitement when I saw the trailer for Beast and it ended with Idris Elba punching a lion. Not shooting, kicking, or otherwise defending himself like most people would. Elba punched the lion. It was both a baffling stinger at the end of a trailer and the moment that sealed the deal: I would be seeing Beast in theaters.
When Dr. Nate Samuels takes his two daughters on a vacation to see where he and their mom met, they encounter something entirely different. They become stranded and are then hunted by a lion. That’s it. That’s the premise. A simple, but solid one.
Not as Fun as You Would Hope
The movie is about the same. A simple, but solid one. Beast does not quite deliver on the insanity that its trailer promises. In fact, it is much more straight-forward than I anticipated. It does not have the bonkers decision making of movies like Deep Blue Sea or Anaconda – two movies that are in the Ridiculous Movies Hall of Fame – which probably makes it a better film, but in this case, it also makes it a less enjoyable one.
To his credit, Idris Elba keeps the movie entertaining. Although I would have liked for him to let loose a bit, he plays the stoic dad role well. In such an outlandish situation, he grounds the movie in unexpected ways. For me, that was kind of the detriment to my enjoyment but I could see that as being a positive for others, who prefer their movies to take place in some sort of reality.
Although Beast is not as entertaining as I was hoping it would be, I still enjoyed watching it for the most part. It has its moments where it dabbles in absurdity but for the most part, it is a straight-forward survival tale. If that interests you, you could do a lot worse than Beast.