Beast Parent Guide
The film is hopelessly derivative but at least it moves quickly through its predictable plot.
Parent Movie Review
Since the death of his wife, Dr. Nate Samuels (Idris Elba) has struggled to maintain his relationship with his daughters, Meredith (Iyana Halley) and Norah (Leah Sava Jeffries). He has a plan to fix it with a big trip to South Africa; specifically, he wants to bring the girls to their late mother’s hometown, right next to the incredible Mopani Game Reserve, and take them for a little safari while they’re there. Thankfully, he’s good friends with Martin (Sharlto Copley), a local game warden, who gives them a tour of the restricted areas of the game park. Things seem to be going well…until they stumble across a village full of corpses and big lion tracks.
Nate and his girls make it back to the jeep before the lion can get his teeth into them but Martin is still in the bush, and the jeep is stuck. If they have any hope of getting out of the park alive, they’re going to need to act fast…and avoid the incredible and implacable predator who just added them to his menu.
This movie wears its influences on its sleeve – which is to say, it’s a shameless rip-off of a few other properties. Whether you see it as Cujo on safari or Endangered Species with a bigger lead actor, it’s not exactly subtle about its premise. You’ve got the big vacation to hold the family together trope, some beautiful shots of South Africa, and a bunch of fairly irritating characters. The latter point leads me to believe Beast is stealing more from Endangered Species, but it’s hard to watch a scared family trapped in the car with a big animal outside and not think of Cujo.
To give credit where credit is due, this film is far less aggravating than Endangered Species, which mostly irritated me for a refusal to kill off its characters in the first ten minutes. The dialogue isn’t much better in Beast, but there’s a lot less of it, which is leaps and bounds in the right direction. The film also has the good sense to keep its runtime down to 90 minutes, so if you can ignore smaller grievances, the film will move on to something else – usually, something a little less annoying.
As R-rated survival thrillers go, this one is pretty tame. Sure, some of the lion attack scenes look like the director watched The Revenant one too many times, but there’s hardly any profanity, no sex, and only brief drinking. If I’m being honest, most of the film consists of characters screaming or looking around nervously. While Beast is entirely too gruesome for younger viewers, older teens might have some fun with this thoroughly by-the-numbers flick. It’s definitely best suited to any audience that isn’t going to pay too much attention, and it’s hard to find a less attentive audience than most teenagers.Directed by Baltasar Kormákur. Starring Idris Elba, Sharlto Copley, Iyana Halley. Running time: 93 minutes. Theatrical release August 19, 2022. Updated August 23, 2022
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Rating & Content Info
Why is Beast rated R? Beast is rated R by the MPAA For violent content, bloody images and some language.
Violence: Many people are mauled by a lion. An individual is killed in an explosion. Bodies are seen with grievous injuries. Animals are shot and killed on screen, and their bodies are seen hanging from meat hooks.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There are three sexual expletives, eight scatological terms, and infrequent uses of mild profanity and terms of deity in the script.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are seen drinking to excess on one occasion.
Page last updated August 23, 2022
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Obviously, the film bears a close resemblance to Endangered Species. Other survival thrillers include Cujo, Predator, Prey, The Grey, Jungle, The Revenant, 127 Hours, and Underwater. Genre fans may also enjoy films like Alien, Jaws, Crawl, Deep Blue Sea, The Meg, or Jurassic Park.