Beast (Collector’s Edition): Blu-Ray Review

Filmmaker Baltasar Kormákur loves to tell stories of survival, especially against nature. Look at films like The Deep, Everest and Adrift. He also likes to dabble in action-thrillers like the Mark Wahlberg vehicles Contraband and 2 Guns. This past summer Kormákur combined the two with the big studio man vs. the wild action-thriller, Beast starring Idris Elba. For a film clearly inspired by Jaws (but with a lion), he succeeds on delivering what the marketing promises. I meant to catch this one during the theatrical run, but just wasn’t able to get around to it. Thankfully it is now available on Blu-ray.

After their mother loses her battle with cancer, Meredith and Norah Samuels (Iyana Halley and Leah Jefferies respectively) go on a trip to Africa with their father Dr. Nate Samuels (Idris Elba). After Nate and their mother separated, he grew distant from his daughters as well. In hopes to reconnect with his children, he brings them to the village where their mother grew up and where he fell in love with her. They are staying with their Martin (Sharlto Copley), who is a close friend of the family.

While the opening of Beast shows us why the animal is so angry. It isn’t until a little later on until we get a good look at the lion and the carnage it leaves in its’ wake. Clocking in at a brisk 93-minutes, once the lion sets its’ sights on the Samuels family, the film moves along pretty quickly. Much of it takes place inside the vehicle that the family is trapped in, but we get quite a bit of lion fun here and yes, Nate eventually does have a one-on-one with the CGI beast. While it is easy to tell that the lion is a digital creation, it still looks quite impressive at times.

If you are into these kinds of films, I am happy to tell you that Beast is one of the good ones. It doesn’t break any new ground, but it does deliver on what you would want out of a man vs lion movie and never tries to be anything more.

Bonus Features:

  • DELETED SCENE – Watch an exclusive unreleased scene from Beast
  • MAN VS. LION: THE FINAL BATTLE – Go inside the epic final battle between Nate and the beast himself as Director Baltasar Kormákur, star Idris Elba, and key members of the VFX team walk us through putting it all together.
  • CREATING THE BEAST – The vicious title character of Beast is no ordinary lion. He’s bigger, he’s meaner, and he’s got an axe to grind against humanity. Sit down with director Baltasar Kormákur as he explains what he envisioned for The Beast.
  • MAKING IT REAL: THE WOUNDS – Sit down with prosthetics supervisor Clinton Smith and prosthetic assistant Daleen Badenhorst as they walk us through all the gory details of creating realistic looking slices, gashes, and tears caused by a massive, predatory lion.
  • FILMING IN THE BEAST’S TERRITORY – Visit Limpopo South Africa where the cast and crew of BEAST travelled to capture all the vistas, planes, and mountains of Africa authentically on film.
  • FAMILY BOND: THE CAST OF THE BEAST – Meet the family at the heart of this story as director Baltasar Kormákur and cast members Idris Elba, Iyana Halley, and Leah Jeffries take us inside their characters’ journeys as they come together and heal in the direst of circumstances.
  • A LION’S PRIDE – Learn the tragic truth of lion poaching with this factual piece that takes viewers inside the fight to protect the big game of Africa.

By: Marc Ferman