Believe it or not. We have ANOTHER original film. Sort of. The title is one word and tells us the whole plot…Beast (a LION in this film) centers on a grieving father and his two children as they fight said Beast and try to survive. However, the father in his film is played by Idris Elba who it a fantastic actor. The question is would this film be any good? Just a quick money grab? I think so.
Onto the film.
We open in South Africa and meet Dr. Nate Samuels (Elba) of course he’s a doctor and that will come into play later. He’s with his two daughters Meredith (Halley) and Norah (Jeffries) and they are all grieving the lost of his wife and their mother. Nate (Elba) has taken his daughters to where their mother was born to try and reconnect with. The last big cast member of the film is an old friend named Martin (Copley) he runs a game reserve that the family goes to. The film is pretty cookie-cutter in the beginning, and we are just waiting for the BEAST to appear.
The tension begins to build as a Tsonga community as ravaged. It seems a lion has killed most of the people…Here is where the movie takes off.
We have a cat and mouse game (no pun intended) With Dr. Samuels (Elba) tracking and fighting this lion that has killed so many. I was surprised at the tension from scene to scene and found myself looking for the lion in every frame.
This film has a good foundation. The acting is top notch and the premise does work, the problem is the plot is incredibly thin. I think back to another film (true story) about a battle with a BEAST called The Ghost and the Darkness. This film is GREAT. A classic starring Val Kilmer and Michael Douglas. Unfortunately, this isn’t that film. I enjoyed Elba as usually and Sharlto Copley is always welcome and plays his role effectively. I just wish the cast had more to do. It seemed the only thing pushes the movie forward was the next location and fight with the lion. Would it ever end? For such a short run time it felt bogged down. I wish that the cast was developed more. The backstory of losing the wife/mother is good and somewhat “unique” to the story but it isn’t touched on enough. If you are in the mood for a light popcorn flick, give it a watch, but I don’t feel this is one you will watch again. “It’s pretty good but not great.” Also the next time a film is set in the safari….BRING BIGGER GUNS! 2 ½ stars out of 5