Beckett is a new political conspiracy thriller starring John David Washington and is now available to stream on Netflix. But should audiences chase this one down?
Have you ever wanted to see a movie because the trailer made it look intense and exciting? This is the case for so many films today where their trailers paint a vivid and incredible image of what to expect. You see the best moments from the most action-packed parts of the movie in an attempt to get you hooked. Sometimes, these trailers are accurate, and you get an enjoyable and memorable experience. In the case of the new Netflix film Beckett, the trailer got me hooked (it’s actually shot on film!), but the movie itself made me question why it ever peaked my interest.
Directed by Ferdinando Cito Filomarino (Antonia), Beckett follows a young couple, Beckett and April (played by John David Washington and Alicia Vikander), on vacation in Greece. After a severe car accident that sends their car off the road and into a house, Beckett wakes up in a hospital with a broken arm in a cast and bruises and cuts all over his body.
An American in Greece.
While visiting the scene of the accident, Beckett begins to remember seeing a young boy in the house that looked very similar to a missing child poster he saw at the local police station. But before he can investigate, the police officer he first spoke to shows up and begins shooting at him.
Beckett then goes on the run in a country he doesn’t know the layout of, speaking to people who barely speak English, and not knowing who he can trust to not turn him into the corrupt police officers who won’t stop hunting him. If Beckett can make it to the US Embassy safely, he thinks he’ll be safe. But as he soon learns, he may not be able to trust them either.
While the simple plot of this movie is an interesting idea, it was not executed in a very entertaining way. Beckett is on his own in a foreign country and being hunted by people who want him dead. Where the movie lost me was in the numerous sections where Beckett is literally walking from place to place and there’s really nothing happening.
Instead of making the movie slightly shorter and cutting out these unnecessary scenes, they chose to draw it out, which gets old very quickly. On top of that, the stakes here are far too predictable. Even when Beckett is running through mountainous terrain while bleeding from a gunshot wound, it’s hard to feel the panic or danger, or any real intensity to it all.
When it comes to casting, Beckett runs laps.
The casting choices in Beckett are excellent. John David Washington is slowly beginning to take after his father and becoming more well-rounded as an actor. Having said that, this was not my favorite performance of his so far. His acting here is flat and plain, so connecting to his character is difficult, to say the least.
Alicia Vikander, although she’s only in the beginning of the movie, gives as solid a performance as we can expect from her at this point. Same goes for Vicky Krieps as an ally who helps fill Beckett in what might really be going on. And Boyd Holbrook, playing an agent at the US Embassy, offers a striking performance as a scumbag government official with some surprises up his sleeve.
Beckett is a movie that wants very badly to be a throwback action thriller similar to what audiences used to enjoy on a yearly basis. With a rising star like Washington as the lead, you would think that this would be an automatic slam dunk of a movie. But its lackluster story, bland writing, and overlong runtime with a bit too much filler, leads to a chase movie that can’t quite outrun its shortcomings.
Beckett is now available to stream on Netflix. Watch the full trailer here.