‘Beast’: Unnecessary Yet Fun

Ryan Ranc, Life and Arts General Reporter

“Beast” follows recently widowed Dr. Nate Samuels (Idris Elba) as he takes his daughters Meredith (Iyana Halley) and Norah (Leah Jeffries) to Africa for a safari tour from his best friend Martin Battles (Sharlto Copley). When a lion attacks the group, Dr. Samuels must do what he can to save the people he loves.

Despite its intriguing premise, the writing in “Beast” feels lazy and remains some of the most abysmal writing of the year. For example, in the beginning of the movie, the Samuels family stands out as some of the most charming characters on the silver screen in 2022. However, 20 minutes later, they drop the most out-of-nowhere, stereotypical motives and artificial conflicts, instantly demolishing any connection the audience could have formed with the protagonists prior. From then on, every character becomes more of an annoyance rather than a realistic, relatable person. Predictable plot points also demonstrate the movie’s bland and haphazard writing. Audiences should really only expect to enjoy this movie because of Elba fighting a lion. While the film delivered this scene expertly, this does not give the writers an excuse to make the rest of the movie one big Hollywood cliché.

Even with lamentable decisions from the writing room, powerful acting stands out as one of the best elements of the movie. Each actor did their best with the script they were presented, and that in itself remains commendable. Elba plays a caring father with questionable decision-making, Halley plays an angsty but easy-to-sympathize-with teen, Jeffries plays a sweet and innocent younger sister and Copley plays a comedic safari adventurer. Each characters’ behavior shined thanks to the cast who powered through annoying dialogue and lackluster character choices.

As much as the writers failed to properly build an interesting exposition and heartfelt character dialogue, they notably succeed in delivering the most exhilarating part of this movie: Elba fighting a lion. Once the action kicks into gear, the suspense and fun never eases up. Audiences can expect to see Elba fighting a lion from under a car, sneaking away from it and culminating in a big hand-to-hand, lion-versus-man climax at the end of the movie. “Beast” brings back an era of Hollywood from the 2000s to 2010s when actors starred in random action movies just to bring in audiences for dumb fun. The writers clearly put the most effort into the action scenes, and they carry the entire film, making it one of the most unnecessary-yet-fun movies of the summer.

“Beast” is the summer movie audiences deserve. Despite poor dialogue and expository elements, its action and suspense combine to make one of the best and most worthwhile theater experiences of the year. “Beast” is best viewed in a theater with friends, as its explosive action will be less enjoyable on smaller screens.

3 roars out of 5