MOVIE REVIEW: Beckett (2021): Blockbuster or just a bust?

By Alexis Newman

Netflix’s new action movie “Beckett” has both film critics and casual moviegoers giving mixed reviews, and it isn’t hard to see why.

The movie opens with the main character Beckett (John David Washington) and his girlfriend April (Alicia Vikander) on vacation on the Greek countryside. After a montage of idyllic moments shared between them, the plot is set into motion when the two get into a car accident, resulting in April’s death and Beckett being left in the hands of the local police.

A sequence of misfortunes quickly unfolds, and scene after scene shows Beckett and anyone who tries to help him facing violent repercussions for their actions. Beckett, making his way to the U.S. Embassy in Athens, is forced to avoid all law enforcement who pursue him because of his accidental involvement in a politically motivated kidnapping.

Unfortunately, even the embassy workers are involved in the political intrigue, and having nowhere else to run, Beckett faces his original enemies head-on, killing the police officers who had been after him since the car accident and helping to rescue the kidnapping victim.

The closing scene, while wrapping up most loose ends, is not exactly a happy one, showing a battered Beckett looking into the distance while the chaotic aftermath of a political protest gone wrong still happens around him.

Overall, the movie felt generic, and the predictability and slow pace took away from the suspense. Despite being average in terms of acting and technical quality, “Beckett” had an enjoyable sense of simplicity. It also strove for realism, using filming locations in Greece and casting Greek actors to play the Greek characters.

After all is said and done, “Beckett” is a fine movie to watch if you enjoy drama and have a couple of hours to spare, but it isn’t necessarily worth going out of the way to watch. 

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