‘Beckett‘ is a Netflix thriller film directed by Ferdinando Cito Filomarino. It had its first showing at the 2021 74th Locarno Film Festival before its release.
Beckett (John David Washington) and his girlfriend April Hanson (Alicia Vikander) are vacationing in Europe when they stop in Greece. They had originally planned to stay in Athens, but left to the countryside when they heard a protest over the kidnapping of a politician’s son was to take place. As they head to their next hotel, Beckett falls asleep in their car and crashes into a house, killing April. As he passes out, he sees a blonde woman (Lena Kitsopoulou) with a child. When he awakens, the English-speaking policeman Officer Xenakis (Panos Koronis) allows him to make calls and gives him medical attention. Beckett visits the house where April died before heading to the American embassy, only to be shot at by the woman and Xenakis. He manages to get away, but soon finds himself embroiled in a political conspiracy.
The movie had an interesting set up and a really good premise. For the first act and about half way into the second one, I was hooked. It set it self up to be a “fish out of water” thriller with an American lost in Europe who has no hope but to get to the American embassy. Yet, the movie veers off course into waters that seemed there just to extend the runtime.
That is not a slight against the actors. Washington does a good job as the guilt-ridden protagonist trying to survive in his deadly situation. During the course of the film, he gets crashed, stabbed, shot, and beat-up several times, but always manages to get out of the situation. No explanation is given as to where these abilities come from and again, that is not Washington’s fault, he handles the movie with care.
In fact, that lack of backstory is what hampers the film’s plot. We do not really know who Beckett or April are, why the woman shot at Beckett when he was clearly there to mourn his girlfriend, or even the purpose of certain characters introduced later in the movie. Had it just focused on Beckett trying to survive against European prejudice against Americans and gave a simpler answer for his plight, I think the movie would have made more sense. With all the ingredients they have thrown in, they do not even give the movie a proper ending. It just sort of, well, ends, and you are left wondering what the heck happened.
Bottom line, Beckett is one of those movies that just has too much going, but not enough explanation. It gets in its own way and does not provide you with a satisfying ending.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Strong violence, Some strong foul language, Distressing events
FAVORITE QUOTE: It should have been me.
Check out the trailer below:
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