Netflix 'Beckett' Review: John David Washington shines in ultimate nightmare tale for travelers
Actor John David Washington has enjoyed a lot of success in the recent past. With movies like ‘Tenet’ and ‘Malcolm & Marie’, Washington has shown the world that he is set to become the next superstar. His father, Denzel Washington, is one of the most iconic actors in Hollywood history and John has had the difficult task of taking his legacy forward. Until now, he has been up to the task and it will be amazing to see if he’ll be able to do that in future projects as well.
John’s last two movies, 'Tenet' and 'Malcolm & Marie', were successful and brought him a lot of praise. But, his latest movie is something that people are really looking forward to. Titled ‘Beckett,’ the movie revolves around a tourist named Beckett who has come to Greece for a vacation with his girlfriend April (Alicia Vikander). However, everything goes upside when the couple gets into a terrible accident in which April loses her life and Beckett ends up in hospital. Everything goes from bad to worse when he suddenly becomes the target of a manhunt in a country that is completely new for him.
The movie’s story is something that has been seen before in some of the previous films in the same genre, but that doesn’t’ mean that ‘Beckett’ is ineffective.
The movie starts with Beckett and April enjoying their vacation in Greece. Instead of staying in Athens, they decide to travel the countryside because of the massive protest that has been organized right outside the hotel they were staying in. You know sometimes you get a feeling that something terrible is going to happen because everything is going too smooth. Yep, that’s exactly what happens in the movie ‘Beckett’. The couple gets into a horrible accident in which April is killed while the protagonist is taken to the hospital.
But something strange happens when he was trying to free himself after the accident. Beckett sees a young boy who is quickly taken away by a woman. After he gains consciousness, the authorities tell him that the house has been abandoned for years now and that’s when the movie gets into the element. The tourist is now a fugitive and on the run from the authorities. The chase scenes have been shot extremely well and give you the feeling that you are watching a good action movie after a long time. On the other hand, director Ferdinando Cito Filomarino does an exceptional job in maintaining the balance between high-octane action sequences and the lead actor’s grief about losing his girlfriend.
The best thing about the movie is that our protagonist is an average guy. He is not a trained military officer or someone who knows martial arts. No, he is a regular joe who’s trying to save his own skin. His attempts to get away from the bad guys are really flawed and sometimes stupid, but that’s what makes the character so normal and viewers are drawn to his story. Needless to say, Beckett gets injured many times during the process. There comes a point when Beckett meets a German activist named Lena (Vicky Krieps) who explains to her why the movement is happening. For a second, it seems ‘Beckett’ will now turn into a political drama. Thankfully, it doesn’t. Filomarino dodges the element of social commentary and remains focused on the mystery surrounding the protagonist.
As far as acting is concerned, John David Washington has given a stellar performance once again. His gritty performance manages to keep you glued to your screens and the way he manages to dodge some really tricky situations always makes you gasp for breath. One of the knife fights in the movie will make you feel like you are in a dangerous situation yourself and are unable to escape. Ponis Koronis is undoubtedly the breakout star of the movie and gives an amazing performance as Officer Xenakis. Meanwhile, Vicky Krieps and Boyd Holbrook have done justice to their roles. Holbrook is introduced in the third act of the movie. His role is that of an American diplomat who has some hidden motives. The problem with his character is that it is too low-spirited and whenever you expect some fireworks from him, he just goes into a shell and has the air of a dispirited man.
The movie is Filomarino’s debut feature film in English and he has done an impressive job in keeping viewers hooked. The movie is not flawless and has its own shortcomings. In some sequences, the film seems to drag or is unevenly paced. But for the most part, the writers have done an excellent job to keep the story moving with unexpected twists and turns. Also, the movie is the ultimate traveler’s nightmare.
Despite all the little flaws it has, the movie never fails to amaze you and is always engaging. Meanwhile, John’s epic portrayal of Beckett will leave you speechless. He is the real star of the movie and he is carrying the burden of the entire movie on his shoulders. And he doesn’t disappoint.
‘Beckett’ is a thrilling adventure that will keep everyone interested in what’s happening on the screen. But it never gets to the point where we can call it a masterpiece.
‘Beckett’ is currently streaming on Netflix.