If there’s one thing that Beast does well, it keeps its audience on the edge of their seats.
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
August might be a washout so far for the industry but Beast couldn’t be arriving at a more apt time, a thrilling, if throwaway, reminder of the fun to be had while watching a B-movie bringing its A-game.
Beast is no great shakes, but it's also a rare enough summer movie, in that it knows its limits, it delivers on its specific promises, and it doesn't belabor the point.
You don’t need to be particularly clever to know how this will all end, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be so boring as it chugs toward cookie-cutter conclusions. Idris Elba fights a lion. It’s genius. So why does “Beast” feel more like a whisper than a roar?
To the movie’s credit, it tries to balance action and thrills with domestic conflict. Perhaps not surprisingly, the family stuff feels seriously subsidiary to the scary stuff. Beast is going through the motions with father-daughter tension. The humans-as-prey tension, that’s a different story.
As with so much of this director’s work, I’m in the middle on Beast, though its efficient running time puts it a notch above. Like many of his previous films, this one has the advantage of modest scale and a passing interest in human resourcefulness under extreme duress. It has also the disadvantage of spectacle that is more technical than artistic.
Beast is an over-the-top savage and sometimes head-slappingly silly animal attack thriller. Its artfully paranoid and claustrophobic, comically cuddly and pretty much begs the audience to shout at the screen. A lot.
Beast has its flaws and is mostly by-the-numbers, but if the idea of Idris Elba fighting a lion is something that is of interest to you, then Beast is going to deliver.
While Beast certainly does little to innovate in the survival thriller genre, it does serve decent fun for fans that want to see Idris Elba fighting a giant, man-hunting lion.
Beast is a toothsome survival thriller, competently crafted and engagingly realized. There are far worse ways to spend 93 minutes in a movie theater, but audiences hankering for something with some actual substance may be left feeling hungry on mane.