Beckett is a 2021 action thriller film following an American tourist vacationing in Greece who becomes the target of a manhunt after an accident. The film stars John David Washington, Boyd Holbrook, Vicky Krieps and Alicia Vikander and is available to stream on Netflix.
The film follows lead character Beckett, an American tourist who accidently becomes the target of a manhunt which spans across Greece. What starts as a simple action thriller film, Beckett soon becomes tangled in a web of political sub plots and combines corruption, violence and domestic affairs.
The political aspect to the film is quite a key component to the whole narrative. There are quite a few layers to the Greek political affairs, but none of which are really substantial enough to keep me engaged as they felt too thin. Additionally, there are times when there are that many sub plots to the main plot, that the narrative becomes convoluted and it’s hard to keep a track of what’s going on. That being said, the far-right political themes in the film and the general political unrest is certainly a plausible and authentic storyline for a modern-day Greece.
The overall production of the film is weird to say the very least. Firstly, the musical score to the film feels so out of place I found myself questioning some of the background music choices! Beckett is a thriller at its core, but some of the musical scores sound like they’ve been taken directly out of a 70’s horror movie! Secondly, the film weirdly feels old. I don’t know if it’s a combination of the barren Greek setting and the dated musical score, but for a film produced in 2019, Beckett genuinely wouldn’t have felt out of place if it was released in the noughties.
I’ve been a big fan of John David Washington for a while now, I’ve particularly enjoyed his performances in both Christopher Nolan movie, Tenet and American Football series, Ballers. His performance in Beckett as the titular character is pretty flawless, however I feel he was fairly let down by his character. For a protagonist, Beckett is simply too bland. Whilst I appreciate it’s difficult to really bring out a character’s personality when for the majority of the film, the protagonist is on his own, however Beckett very much just felt like a generic, easy to forget protagonist.
Undoubtedly, Beckett is at its best when it’s focusing on the thriller side of the film. Right from the off there is a sense of uncertainty for the audience and with the majority of the film effectively being a manhunt for Beckett, there’s a constant tension as to whom Beckett should trust. I did find myself wanting a little bit more on the action front, but for the most part, there’s enough suspense to get you on the edge of your seat.
All in all, Beckett isn’t a bad film, but it could have been a whole lot better. I feel as though the groundwork was there for a totally immersive political thriller, but Beckett fails to bridge the gap from an average film to a great film.
There’s enough suspense and tension in Beckett to have you on the edge of your seat, but its diluted narrative and awful musical score will fail to ever really get you off of it.