The latest disappointment of the summer belongs to Beckett. Hopes were high after festival popularity and a suspenseful trailer to build momentum. Unfortunately, the acting wasn’t strong enough to meet expectations and the aforementioned trailer gave most of the film away.
I’ve voiced my displeasure with the lack of originality in Hollywood before. In a time where creativity should be oozing from every corner of our existence, reboots have owned the past decade and should have no place among us currently. So when checking my calendar of upcoming releases, an intriguing Beckett caught my attention with an exciting storyline and unfamiliar cast. To my chagrin, the level of performance was not commensurate with the plot.
While vacationing in Greece, American tourist Beckett (John David Washington) becomes the target of a manhunt after a devastating car accident. After the accident, he caught a quick glimpse of someone he shouldn’t have, and after telling the police his story, he slowly discovers he’s haphazardly fallen into a conspiracy plot. Without a friend or anyone he can trust, the lone American makes an impossible trek to the U.S. Embassy on the other side of the country. He doesn’t have a car, he doesn’t speak Greek, and his timing is terrible as the country is in the middle of a financial crisis.
Everything about the story is interesting… and then there’s John David Washington. From the film’s opening, he’s awkward. Watching him “attempt” to run, while injured, with a cast, and even the lackluster effort into the “stunts” he pulls, was all subpar. Nothing about it looked or felt right. There are a handful of scenes where he appears to make some “amazing” feats but none of them look realistic.
The film rolls out slowly with a sprinkle of character development, but the pace picks up after the accident. The secondary characters were great and added to the film’s authenticity. The suspense was also above par. Crossing the country on your own, not knowing who to trust or knowing if you’ll have to fight for your life was just the jolt of excitement the film needed.
Beckett gets a 6.5 out of 10. It’s available on Netflix so you don’t have to worry about spending hard-earned money. It’s enough to get you through the weekend but it won’t put you at the edge of your seat. The story, even the direction, were fantastic. Where the film suffers the worst is its execution. John David Washington is a good actor, this just wasn’t the film for him to flex his talents.
Beckett will be available Friday, Aug. 13, on Netflix.
Photos: Courtesy of Netflix