Director: Baltasar Kormáku
Cast: Idris Elba, Sharlto Copley, Iyana Halley
Release Date: October 11, 2022
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 6/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
Idris Elba stars in this pulse-pounding thriller as a recently widowed husband who returns to South Africa on a long-planned trip to a game reserve. What begins as a journey of healing turns into a fearsome fight for survival as he and his daughters find themselves hunted by a massive, rogue lion intent on proving that the savannah has but one apex predator.
Please Note: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
‘Beast’ accompanies a recently widowed man and his two daughters visiting South Africa to reunite with an old friend and tour a breathtaking game reserve. After setting out for the day to take in all of the natural wonder on display, their discovery of a slaughtered village leads them to an encounter with a deadly, rogue lion that after losing its entire pride has set out to prove itself the real predator of the area. But when the creature attacks the family and their friend and leaves them stranded with no way out of the area, they will have to find a way to hold him off long enough for help to stumble upon them. Unfortunately this dangerous beast has no intention of leaving anyone alive.
Directed by Baltasar Kormáku (Everest, Contraband) from a screenplay written by Ryan Engle (Rampage) and a story by Jamie Primak Sullivan, Kormáku does a competent job at the helm of ‘Beast’ smoothly guiding along the thrills and excitement while utilizing the gorgeous scenery throughout. The film’s cast includes Idris Elba (The Suicide Squad), Sharlto Copley (Free Fire), Iyana Halley (TV’s This Is Us), and Leah Jeffries (TV’s Rel) who each offer fairly solid performances for the most part in each of their respective roles.
‘Beast’ is a great example of a slightly above average thriller that delivers almost precisely what you would expect from it. It has its share of thrills, no shortage of gorgeous scenery, plus plenty of exciting moments and a noteworthy threat in its lead lion on the attack. It has no trouble keeping things moving along swiftly throughout its duration, although it never gets as extravagant as some might expect. Instead the film is content to spend most of its time following a terrified family stuck in a vehicle and trying to find any means of help to get them out of their dire situation. It never throws many surprises at the audience and most viewers will know exactly how it’s going to go rather quickly as the film follows a generic story pattern and avoids any shocks or overly crazy occurrences for the most part.
The CGI animals and elements within are fairly well done but can still be mildly distracting on occasion; fortunately the care to detail in creating them helps quite a bit in keeping things from delving into silliness or a complete lack of believability. It may not offer anything overly fresh or surprising, yet it maintains a tense atmosphere throughout with a few jump scares and plenty of thrills scattered throughout. If you enjoy a mostly by the book thriller pitting man against beast and don’t go in expecting anything overly outstanding, then ‘Beast’ should make a solid and enjoyable viewing experience that’s probably worth checking out whenever convenient.
Overall, ‘Beast’ is an enjoyable thriller that keeps things tense and moving along at a swift pace while one family tries to survive a series of deadly encounters with a rogue lion intent on proving its dominance. It never excels to anything extraordinary or overly impressive, but neither does it ever fall flat or become too disappointing, instead delivering a fairly generic, but no less engaging tale of man versus nature with some gorgeous scenery to help keep things looking impressive at the very least. ‘Beast’ is recommended if you enjoy similar films or are a fan of Idris Elba who never really seems to disappoint. If you’re already looking forward to this one then it definitely wouldn’t hurt to rent it, but I would suggest checking it out before purchasing a copy for good measure.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Beast’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks quite great as a whole and provides a sharp, clean and well detailed presentation from start to finish. It holds up nicely throughout even during the many darkly lit and occasional fast moving sequences which remain sharp in appearance from character details to the surrounding landscapes; never allowing anything that’s occurring onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered problematic along the way. Overall, this is a fully capable high definition video presentation from Universal that does its job well and shouldn’t disappoint.
The Blu-ray release features a 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack offers a clean, sharp and at times notably aggressive audio presentation throughout. It utilizes all seven available channels whenever possible in order to send nature and animal effects, along with bits of dialogue, music and plenty more throughout the various speakers, while always making certain that any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously remain clean and fully audible every step of the way. Overall, this is a great 7.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that holds up well throughout and contributes some extra fun and tension to the viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Beast’ comes with a decent collection of bonus content that includes a ‘Deleted Scene’ (running approximately 1 minute in length) from the movie, along with various Behind the Scenes Featurettes that include interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are ‘Creating the Beast’ (running approximately 4 minutes), ‘Man vs. Lion: The Final Battle’ (approximately 3 minutes), ‘Making it Real: The Wounds’ (4 minutes), ‘Filming in the Beast’s Territory’ (5 minutes), ‘Family Bond: The Cast of Beast’ (6 minutes) and ‘A Lion’s Pride’ (8 minutes).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 6/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
‘Beast’ is Now Available to Own on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
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