I have four words, and they are WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE! Beast is a ravenous, treacherous, and wild experience. It is the most fun I have had with a jungle flick in a long time. There are lots of jumps, plenty of nature, and limited resources for survival. But put actors Idris Elba and Sharlto Copley in a jungle film and you have an excellent partnership to team up for survival. I found myself curious as to who would be the one to tame the dangerous lion most effectively. I will say, however, the taming is not going to help that much. Better hope there are many Plan Bs if the dangerous lion chooses not to cooperate.
In Beast Elba plays Dr. Nate Samuels who is taking his daughters on a wild excursion around the Savannah. His daughters are Norah and Meredith (played by Leah Jeffries and Iyana Halley). Sharlto Copley plays Martin Battles, a lifelong friend of Nate. Together, they go on the safari with Nate’s daughters, and Martin shows them his lion taming skills. Soon, their fun and wild excursion goes awry when they notice multiple injuries and destroyed villages. While it is common for animals to do damage, this is not the damage that Martin or Sam had prepared for. Suddenly, a rogue lion comes out of nowhere and all four are in his territory with limited resources. They must do what they can to protect themselves from the unstoppable creature that can kill instantaneously. It becomes a true battle for Nate to protect his family as well as his friend Martin.
With Elba playing the father who must protect his daughters. I knew that would set the tone for the kinds of risks to be considered in the film. There are moments where Nate and his daughters must hide from the lion continuously, and on top of that, they must watch their every movement. I love the suspenseful aspects of the film that really made the audience feel as if it were a real-life situation. As Martin says on the topic of lions, “The females do the hunting, and the males protect the prey,” It is now Nate who must protect his prey, i.e., his daughters. Beast is a ride of unexpected dangers that only puzzles and invigorates as things spiral out-of-hand.
The rogue lion hides in an array of corners which create a force of nature between the beast and the humans. Keep in mind that the scene is ultimately the rogue lion’s territory so it can plot its attacks and follow its instincts. Nate may not be able to hide, but he can fight back. Go see Elba and Copley fight a lion to save a family’s life in Beast. Three and a half stars.