Scouting Really Does Pay Off

Not all tournaments are tough and not all tournaments are as hot as a fish fryer. BUT THIS ONE WAS! This event was held on Sam Rayburn in August which is the toughest month for bass fishing. As you have read in one my previous articles on July 16 of this year “Why I hate Summers…Now” this tournament reminded me of why I hate summertime fishing period. Temperatures reached the upper 90’s all three days but we got a little reprieve on Thursday’s pre-fishing with an occasional thunderstorm rolling across Sam Rayburn.

This event was a grind in all phases of summertime fishing, as the bite was super tough. Normally, summer events are won in the first two hours of the day, but we were under a full moon so that gave us a good mid-day bite. For me, I thought I had a great starting spot based on my practice the day before, as I had found a good group of bass that were schooling (feeding) at daylight. It was an area just off the main lake with a great supply of baitfish. But this, as it turned out, was not the case. My schooling fish disappeared or decided not to show themselves as I and my co-angler OJ (not the OJ your thinking) left this area after hour one with zero fish in the live well.

This is why you scout(pre-fish)! So, I had to switch to plan B and do something different. My next stop would be the 147 bridge which always has fish on it, but the bridge seems to be more of a timing thing. If you’re there at the right time, you can fill your live well pretty quick with good keepers. One thing that makes the 147-bridge productive, is if the Corp of Engineers is pulling water at the dam. This creates current around the lake and under the bridge which makes the baitfish more active, making the bass bite so much better. As we pulled up to the bridge, schooling bass showed themselves and I was able to catch my first two keepers of the day on a top water bait called a Yellow Magic. Schooling fish a lot of times are smaller in size and are not always keeper fish, but every once in a while, you can get lucky and catch a few good ones.

By now it’s close to 10 o’clock but I’m not in panic mode just yet, as I’ve got two descent fish in the boat and my co-angler caught a keeper fish as well, which would eventually keep him from zeroing. So, I pulled up the trolling motor and headed to an area where I had found some good keeper bass on cypress trees. It was a stretch of cypress trees that seemed to have a bass on every one of them the day before. With only two bass in the boat, I immediately started catching solid keeper fish (2 pounders) and got my limit of five in the boat by 11 o’clock. I actually culled one of my smaller fish as well. So now I’m ready to make a move and head for deeper water where I felt I had better fish in twenty feet of water.  

his was an area I was a little excited about because I had shaken off what I felt was three or four really good fish in practice the day before. One thing I’ve learned from a good friend of mine who is one of the best anglers I know, is that when scouting for a tournament, it’s a good idea to not hook fish two days before a tournament. So rather than use a hook on the big 10-inch worm I was throwing, I used what is known as a screw lock. This way you can fish the worm, but you don’t have to worry about hooking the fish. The bass still bite the worm, therefore revealing their location, allowing you to come back and catch them on tournament day. So, after a few casts, I set the hook on a 3.7-pound bass which got me a little excited. Ten minutes later I catch another 3 plus pound bass, but this would be the last fish I would catch off this spot, as the bite shut down.

So, with twelve pounds of fish in the live well, I still needed bigger fish in order to get a check. So, I decided to go back to the area where I started that morning because I felt the fish were there, but maybe they would bite better in the afternoon, which is not uncommon when you’re fishing under a full moon. The prime-time bite for this day based off the Isolunar chart, was from 11:00 AM till 2:00 PM. This chart has proven itself to be very accurate over my years of fishing. Now this does not guarantee you’ll catch fish at this time, but I try and make sure I’m in a good area during the prime feeding period. As I returned to this area, I noticed the baitfish were a little more active. So, I started fishing cypress trees located on a small point. On about the fourth tree, I pitched my V&M Baby Swamp Hog and my line slowly started moving off the tree. I knew it was a really good fish as I set the hook on a 4.96-pound bass that now gave me over sixteen pounds, which landed me in 2nd place for this event.

This turned out to be a great event for me, as things came together pretty much the way it played out in practice. Again, this is why you scout, because you never know how things will play out on tournament day. Oh, and don’t forget about the screw lock tip; this is a great way to scout and locate fish without hooking them. Till next time, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook!

Steve Graf
Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show
And Tackle Talk Live

Notice of death

Beverly Donner 
February 5, 1927 – September 15, 2021 
Trinity United Methodist Church 
Saturday, September 18, 2021, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm 
Trinity United Methodist Church 
Saturday, September 18, 2021, 2:00 pm 

Teresa Tucker 
March 10, 1964 – September 15, 2021 
Kilpatrick Funeral Homes – Ruston 
Sunday, September 19, 2021, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm 
Kilpatrick Funeral Homes – Ruston 
Sunday, September 19, 2021, 2:00 am 
Zion Hill Baptist Church Cemetery 
Sunday, September 19, 2021 

O’Bresha J Mays 
November 7, 2001-September 12, 2021 
King’s Funeral Home 
Friday, September 17, 2021, 3-5 p.m. 
King’s Funeral Home 
Saturday, September 18, 2021, 1 p.m. 
China Grove Cemetery 
Saturday, September 18, 2021 

GSU Founder’s Week Observance Moves from September to November

Traditionally, Grambling State University (GSU) has held its Founder’s Day observance beginning in September but this year’s celebration will begin Nov. 1. The date is significant because it will mark 120 years of educational excellence for GSU.     

Moving forward, the observance will continue to be held in November, said GSU President Rick Gallot.  

“Founder’s Day has been observed in September in years past, however, it is imperative that we align the celebration with the day the institution opened its doors,” he said. 

Gallot said that the dates for the annual celebration will transition to the first week in November each year to honor the historic moment in 1901 when the historically black university was founded. He added that he is “beyond excited to celebrate” during November 1-5, 2021.  

The planning committee is working to develop events and bring programming that honors the history of Grambling State University and perpetuates its legacy to the next generation, he said.  

“We have much to be thankful for, reflect upon, and look forward to for Grambling State University,” Gallot said. “This institution has come so far, surmounted so many obstacles and accomplished so much. The best part is, we’re just getting started.” 

GSU opened on November 1, 1901, as the Colored Industrial and Agricultural School. It was founded by the North Louisiana Colored Agriculture Relief Association, organized in 1896 by a group of African-American farmers who wanted to organize and operate a school for African Americans in their region of the state. In response to the Association’s request for assistance, Tuskegee Institute’s Booker T. Washington sent Charles P. Adams to help the group organize an industrial school. Adams became its founding president. 

In 1905, the school moved to its present location and was renamed the North Louisiana Agricultural and Industrial School. By 1928, after becoming a state junior college and being renamed the Louisiana Negro Normal and Industrial Institute, the school began to award two-year professional certificates and diplomas.

In 1936, the curriculum emphasis shifted to rural teacher education; students were able to receive professional teaching certificates after completing a third academic year. The first baccalaureate degree was awarded in 1944, in elementary education. 

In 1946, the school became Grambling College, named after P.G. Grambling, the white sawmill owner who donated the parcel of land where the school was constructed. In addition to elementary educators, Grambling prepared secondary teachers and added curricula in sciences, liberal arts and business, transforming the college from a single purpose institution of teacher education into a multipurpose college. In 1949, the college earned its first accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

In 1974, the addition of graduate programs in early childhood and elementary education gave the school a new status and a new name – Grambling State University. To learn more about GSU’s history, visit 

Parish Library Board of Control Meeting, Sept. 15

By Jim Wilkerson

The Lincoln Parish Library Board of Control convened for its monthly scheduled meeting on Sept. 15.

At the beginning of the meeting, the board had a moment of silence for Ida Honeycutt who recently passed away. As a memorial/honorarium for Honeycutt, Board Chair Augusta A. Clark donated a book to the library titled, Spiritually Fly: Wisdom, Meditations, and Yoga to Elevate Your Soul by Faith Hunter. Library Interim Director Marcie Nelson informed the board that the book will have a notation in it indicating the book was donated to the library in memory of Mrs. Honeycutt.

Agenda items for the meeting included:

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of Agenda

III.                 Public Comments

  1. Approval of Minutes:
  • August 18, 2021
  1. Acknowledgement/Memorial – Moment of Silence for Ida Honeycutt
  2. Discussion of Postponement Election Library Vote

VII.               Preliminary Budget Submission

VIII.             Statistics

  1. Interim Director’s Report
  2. Adjournment

Cougars look for bounce back

Matt Middleton didn’t sleep much Friday night after watching his Cougars fall 7-6 at home to St. Frederick in the season opener at Cougar Stadium.

This week his expectations are that his football team will take great strides when they travel to Delhi to face the Bears Friday night. The contest can be heard on 101.9 FM with Kevin Bayles and David Cole providing the call of the action. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

“I think we are ready,” said Middleton. “I want to know we are a mature football team. There are times I feel we are really mature. We are going to find that out. I believe in them, and I feel like we are going to play well this week.”

Both teams have played only one game this year. Creek saw its opener canceled due to the direct impact of Hurricane Ida on the Baton Rouge area while Delhi saw hits opener against Madison Prep canceled due to tension between the two communities following a shooting earlier in the week.

Delhi fell 42-0 to Delta Charter in its opener this past week.

“They are very athletic,” said Middleton. “It’s one of those deals that they will play man to man. That is what they do. We are going to have to have some answers for that. They are pretty big up front. We have to be careful with our throws we make because they will make some breaks on balls. We don’t need any pick sixes or anything like that.”

Middleton’s bunch struggled offensively in the loss to St. Frederick. The lone touchdown of the night coming on the opening possession of the third quarter. Caden Middleton completed 19 of 30 passes, but only for 133 yards with one interception.

“We have to be opportunistic and put them in a bind defensively to take some shots,” said Middleton. “We are going to take some shots. Hopefully the weather will stay away and we can throw it around a little bit and then obviously get our running game going and have an explosive night.”

Jed Worthey led Creek with 89 yards rushing.

The Cougars defense was stellar in the loss to the Warriors, holding St. Frederick to only 186 yards of total offense. Carson Riley led the Creek defense with 14 tackles, while AJ Thomas added 13 tackles, including two tackles for loss. Lawson Lillo had eight tackles and one sack while Rushing added eight tackles, including two tackles for loss.

Middleton knows they will be tested again this week.

“They are going to be straight spread,” said Middleton. “They will get into a good bit of empty. Doubles and trips. They are going to throw it around. The quarterback is a pretty good player. He is electric when he breaks the pocket. But again, I will put our defense up against anybody. I got a feeling he may be running a little bit.”

Photo: Darrell James (

Undefeated 1990 Bearcats to be honored during RHS Homecoming festivities

By T. Scott Boatright


Friday night at L.J. “Hoss” Garrett Stadium, some of Ruston High School’s biggest “Homecoming heroes” ever will be celebrated as the 2021 Bearcats play host to Airline.

Approximately 35 to 40 members from the undefeated 1990 national champion Bearcat football team will be honored between the first and second quarter of Friday night’s Homecoming festivities.

That 1990 squad is generally thought to be Ruston’s best team ever, especially from the modern era. And that’s nothing to take lightly considering the Bearcats have won eight state titles (1925, 1941, 1947, 1951, 1982, 1986, 1988 and 1990) and have played in three other championship showdowns (1944, 1984 and 1998).

It all started with head coach Jimmy “Chick” Childress,  a RHS graduate who played on the 1947 state championship football team. As head coach at Ruston from 1979 to 1991, he led the Bearcats to a 131-27 (.829) record and four state championships: 1982, 1986, 1988, and 1990. 

That 1990 team went 15-0 and was named the national champion high school team after defeating Catholic of Baton Rouge 52-10  in the Class 4-A title game. 

Current Northwestern State head coach Brad Laird was quarterback for the 1990 Bearcats and said that season meant much to the team after Childress had already made it known it would be his final season on the sidelines for RHS.

“With all of the success he had prior to that last season, and then to come out and say that it was going to be his last year, he knew the opportunity that team had and knew that it was a pretty special group of guys,” Laird said.

The 1990 Bearcats featured standouts like Laird, who went on to star at Northwestern State, Class 4A (the largest classification in Louisiana at that time), Offensive MVP Roymon Malcolm (a running back who went on to play at Auburn and then Northwestern State and who died in a car crash on May 9, 2009), Class 4A Defensive MVP Rodney Young, a defensive back who went on to start at LSU and later for the NFL’s New York Giants, defensive end Bobby Williams, who went on to play at LSU, defensive back Charles Green, who played collegiately at Nebraska, offensive guard Andrew Jacobs and center Nick Nelams, who all were first-team All State selections that season.

“The biggest thing I remember is how close that team was,” Laird said. “Many of us still are. 

“It was a brotherhood. I don’t talk to them all daily, but 30 years later I still talk to a bunch of them quite often. I’ve had Jeff Williams, who played on that team, come and talk with my players. It was a special team to be part of.”

Laird won’t be making it to the weekend’s festivities, but as always, the Bearcats will be on his mind.

“With Friday night meetings before Saturday’s game against Tennessee-Martin, I won’t be able to be there,” Laird said. “But I’ve been talking to a lot of the guys about it and it looks like there’s going to be a great turnout. I hate that I have to miss it.”

Young, who now works for Residential Capital Partners and HomeVestors, will be making the journey from his Texas home to the Homecoming celebration.

“I’ll be driving in with my wife on Friday,” Young said. “I’m still very proud of what happened. It’s so long ago that I see things on Facebook and it triggers memories, but 30 years is a long time. There’s a lot I’ve forgotten. Over the years it’s soaked in more and more that we had a great and special team and accomplished something really great.

“This weekend is something I’m really looking forward to. I haven’t seen some of those guys since high school.”

Williams, now a Vice President at Origin Bank, is also looking forward to the festivities.

“Memories of that season come up quite often, especially during football season,” Williams said. “Guys who we played against in high school and then went on to play on the same team and became buddies with in college still talk a lot about that season to this day. They talk about it being the best team they’ve seen and all the athletes we had. I’m surprised, but it still comes up 30 years later.”

Williams said the Bearcats at that time knew they were part of something that doesn’t happen every day, or season.

“We just had that kind of confidence in that we knew we were the best,” Williams said. “We knew our second-teamers could go in against anyone and not miss a beat — nobody was going to beat us.”

Williams said Malcolm will be missed as the Bearcats celebrate Homecoming.

“Malcolm was huge for us that year,” Williams said. “He was a very talented runner and talented receiver, also. It was incredible to watch him work — watch him perform. He brought a lot of attention to the team because people showed up to see him, but while they were watching him they’d be seeing the rest of the team, too. It all just kept getting bigger and bigger as the season progressed.”

Ruston blitzkrieged through the 4A playoffs that season, outscoring opponents 200-27. The Bearcats opened postseason play by blasting Barbe 42-0, before defeating Natchitoches-Central 41-0, Baker 38-14, Thibodaux 27-3, and then blowing past a Catholic team that included standouts of its own such as Warrick Dunn 52-10 for the championship.

That’s an average winning playoff score of 40-5 that season.

“A lot of that team had been playing together since seventh grade,” Laird said. “With all the titles won before us, we had watched a lot of great Ruston teams and knew there were expectations about what we had to do. Individual honors and moving on to college were all on the backburner, all we cared about at the time was the importance of the team and winning our own championship and a last for Coach Childress.”

Parish park updates with 3-D archery range

By Wes Harris

Often recognized for its mountain bike trail and outstanding campground, the Lincoln Parish Park has added a new amenity. The Lincoln Parish Police Jury, which operates the park, has partnered with Trailblazer Resource Conservation and Development and other sponsors to add a 3-D archery range on the premises.

Police Juror Glenn Scriber spearheaded the project after observing high participation at a similar range in Texas.

Unlike a typical shooting or archery range with flat paper targets, a 3-D range uses three-dimensional animal targets to challenge archers at each station. To mimic a real-life hunting experience, the life-size foam targets are set up on different trails so that the archer does not know their location and must take shots uphill, downhill, in thick woods, and in other situations.  

Similar ranges are being constructed elsewhere in Louisiana to accommodate the rising popularity of the sport. 

Shooting sports, including archery, are now among the most popular programs in Louisiana 4-H clubs. In 2019, Team Louisiana brought home the highest award from the 4-H Shooting Sports National Championship, the championship sweepstakes. Lincoln Parish youth participated in winning the championship.

Trailblazer RC&D is a locally sponsored and directed non-profit organization aiding north Louisiana parishes in developing and conserving resources. The purpose of Trailblazer is to improve the quality of life in local communities. Other sponsors of the range include businesses and individuals. 

The park’s mountain bike trail is rated the best in the South and improvements to the campground has made the park the first choice of many RV campers. The hiking trails and summer swimming in the lake are popular as well.

The range is located away from other park activities for safety. For fees, hours of operation and range rules, contact the park 318-251-5156. The park is located at 211 Parish Park Road off Louisiana Highway 33.

Vehicle stop results in ecstasy arrest

A vehicle stop Wednesday evening by Ruston Police resulted in an arrest for possession of ecstasy.

Ecstasy is the street name for MDMA, a synthetic drug similar to a hallucinogen.

At about 8 p.m. Wednesday, RPD Officer A. Eleam spotted a Ford Expedition matching the description from a disturbance call at the Country Inn & Suites located off the Farmerville Highway/I-20 exit.

The vehicle pulled into the Spirit Mart on Farmerville Highway. The driver, Patrick D. Jackson, 46, of Dubach, almost immediately told Officer Eleam he had about 14 grams of marijuana in the car’s center console.

During a search of the vehicle, the officer recovered a clear bag of suspected marijuana. Another bag of about nine ecstasy pills was also found.

Jackson initially said the marijuana was his, and the ecstasy belonged to his ex-wife who was in the vehicle the day before but then claimed all the drugs belonged to him.

Clark was arrested and booked at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center for two counts of possession of a Schedule I drug for the marijuana and the ecstasy.  

Bail was set at $10,000.

Miss Grambling State University seeks to spotlight mental health 

Faith Daniels, who will be officially crowned as Miss Grambling State University on Sept. 16, is carrying on family legacy as Miss GSU.

Daniels, of Atlanta, said she is honored and excited to serve in the leadership role for 2021-2022.

“It honestly feels like a dream but I’m looking forward to the journey that awaits me,” she said. “I am honored to serve students, faculty, staff, #Gramfam and future tigers.”   

For Daniels, who will officially be crowned during coronation at 7 p.m. Sept. 16, being the 68th Miss GSU means carrying on a family legacy.  

“My mom, Tammy Staten, was Miss Grambling State University 1983-1984,” she said. 

Daniels is a senior mass communications major (concentration in sports journalism) who is minoring in business management. As Miss GSU, she wants to bring attention to mental health in the Black community.

“I stand firmly on the platform of ‘Beauty and the Tiger,’ advocating for those who suffer from mental health illnesses in the African American community,” she said. “Mental health is the last thing that is talked about in many of our households. During these unprecedented times, the COVID-19 pandemic has definitely taken a toll on people all over the world, mentally and physically.”

It’s an issue that affects the old and the young and getting help is so important, she said.

“My biggest concern is the well-being of my peers and assisting them in becoming healthier mentally by not only encouraging students to utilize our counseling center services on campus but to acquire legal hobbies that bring them peace of mind,” Daniels said.

Besides being Miss GSU, Daniels is involved in other campus activities including serving as a producer/reporter for the GSU TV Center and as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Panthers’ Simmons excelling in new role at QB

By T. Scott Boatright

A standout four years in the making has played a big role in Lincoln Preparatory School getting off to a 2-0 football season start for the first time since officially becoming a charter school and the only Grambling-based school at the start of the 2016-17 academic year.

In 2018, Ta’Rell Simmons was a raw freshman who decided to try out for the Panthers football team and even became the team’s starting punter that season.

Since then he’s also become an established defensive back and receiver before being called into action behind center this season by Panthers head coach Glen Hall and his staff.

“He’s a good punter, a good receiver, a good defensive back and a good quarterback,” Hall said about his starting offensive signal caller. “The thing is, when I first got the young man four years ago he knew nothing about football. 

“But he hung in there, he grew and he developed. Now he’s turned into something special that looks like he’s creating the opportunity for himself to possibly play on the next level.”

Simons credits Hall with his gridiron growth since his freshman season.

“It’s all been Coach Hall,” Simmons said. “When I came here I didn’t know anything about the game of football. He’s taught me everything I know. I just stayed dedicated and have let the rest of it work out for itself.

“My football IQ went from 0 as a freshman to 100 today. I know a lot about the game that I didn’t know back then. And I’m still learning every day.”

Simmons has helped things work out pretty well for the Panthers so far this season. 

In a 44-6 season-opening win at Beekman Charter, Simmons threw for more than 400 yards and four touchdowns while adding 120 yards and another score with his legs.

Last week Simmons returned a punt for a touchdown while throwing a TD pass and rushing for another score in a 36-0 win at Ringgold.

Hall realizes what Simmons has meant to the Panthers to start this season.

“Just to bring him from the wide receiver position, which he’s always played, to quarterback — he caught on real fast,” Hall said. He’s showing some serious team leadership, that that’s something we need — got to have.”

Simmons said the transition from wideout to quarterback hasn’t been a problem.

“It hasn’t been tough because Coach Hall has worked hard to prepare me,” Simmons said. “It’s actually been pretty easy because of Coach Hall.”

Simmons said the transition from wideout to quarterback hasn’t been a problem.

“It hasn’t been tough because Coach Hall has worked hard to prepare me,” Simons said. “It’s actually been pretty easy because of Coach Hall.

“I really like playing receiver better. I’m just more comfortable at it and feel like it’s my best position. But I’ll do whatever it takes to help my team. That’s the most important thing.”

Simmons is hoping to continue his football career on the college level, preferably back at the receiver position.

“I don’t want to be a college punter,” Simmons said. “I can and will punt, but I don’t really like doing it all that much. I like playing receiver. I’d love to play for Grambling. That would be a dream.”

And he might want to continue in Hall’s footsteps.

“I think I really might like to get into coaching,” Simons said. “I can’t say enough about what Coach Hall has done for me and taught, and I think I’d like being able to have that effect on players. I could be happy doing that.”

But right now Simmons says his only athletic focus is on the remainder of the Panthers’ season.

“We’ve never started a season like this since Lincoln Prep started,” Simmons said. “It’s about the whole team working hard and working together to try and become the best team we can be. We’re not going to let up. I can see us surprising some people who aren’t paying attention. I want to go to the ’Dome. I want to win a championship.”

Photo: Darrell James (


Ruston volleyball wins continue

Ruston High volleyball finished with another district victory on Tuesday in straight sets; this time over Natchitoches Central by a final score of 25-15, 25-17, and 25-18.

“Overall, I loved our energy and our fight,” RHS volleyball coach Lucie Hunt said. “We knew this was a big district game, and I wanted us to come out focused and with a positive midset. I think we have some improvements to make on execution and placing the ball, but I’m happy for this team and their ability to bounce back after a tough weekend.”

Senior Mariah Hintze finished with eight kills and four aces, while senior Sophie Mae Smith finished the night with 33 assists and three aces.

Senior Kaylyn Brazzel also finished with eight kills, while senior Riley Oakley finished the night with seven.

Junior Lorelei Freling finish with 28 digs.

Ruston is back in action tonight at home against Airline. Freshmen start at 4:30 p.m., junior varsity at 5:30 p.m., and varsity is set for 6:30 p.m.

Photo: Darrell James (

Monster Mash event seeks participants

By Alexis Newman

Any businesses or organizations in the Ruston area looking for free advertising need to look no further than the annual Monster Mash event hosted by the city of Ruston.

On Oct. 25 from 4-5:30 p.m., the Ruston community is invited to come out to explore all of the booths on display and receive goodies such as candy or prizes from the vendors. For the first time ever, the event will take place in the Ruston Sport Complex. There are no fees involved for attendees and participants, and all are welcome to join in the fun.

Participants will be required to set up their booths using their own supplies and hand out treats to the attendees of the event. Amy Stegall, the Ruston Main Street director, said she hopes to have more than 30 businesses and organizations sign up.

 “It’s a big event,” Stegall said. “You get a lot of traffic, and you’ll see people from the community. So it’s great for businesses to get out there and have their name out there.”

Up to 2,500 kids have shown up for downtown trick-or-treating in the past, Stegall said, and she looks forward to continuing the tradition and bringing the community together for this traditional event.

 “This is a great opportunity for community, so we look forward to as much participation from the businesses and our community on both sides,” Stegall said. “It’s just a great way to get together and enjoy a fun family event and have a good time. That’s really what it’s about.”

Anyone interested in registering for the event can request a space to be held by contacting Amy Stegall at 318-251-8647 or Amanda Lonadier at 318-255-8500, or emails can be sent to The deadline for registration is Oct. 1.

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.