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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Mar 22, 2021



AFTER REVIEWING “Sputnik” which is Russian and “Red Dot” which is Swedish, we now review a Netflix Italian action-thriller, “The Beast” (La Belva). 

The title roler is Leonida Riva (Fabrizio Gifuni), a Special Forces soldier and war veteran from the Italian military who is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and now addicted to pain medications to maintain his stablity.

He’s alienated from his estranged wife Angela (Monica Pissedu) and son Mattia (Emanuel Linfatti). 

The only member of their family who is nice to him is his 7-year old daughter, Teresa (Giada Gigliardi). Mattia is very hostile to him. 

On the night Teresa is supposed to have dinner with him, Mattia instead takes her to a fast food restaurant to meet with his friends. 

He leaves the girl alone in their table and when he returns, to his consternation she has suddenly disappeared.  

Witnesses say Teresa is kidnapped and describes the vehicle that took her. Even before the police could act, Riva demonstrates he’s a true man of action and has already acted swiftly to chase the kidnapper. 

But the cops, instead of siding with him, even suspect that he has something to do with the abduction. 

Riva or The Beast, though, will be relentless and unforgiving in his efforts to rescue his daughter, no matter what it costs him.

We’re sure that by judging from the storyline we’ve written here, you have already deduced that this action flick is obviously inspired by Liam Neeson’s 2009 blockbuster, “Taken”, where the hero also played a dad who tracks down a vicious gang of sex traffickers to save his abducted daughter. 

It was so successful it even had sequels, copycats and also a hit TV action series that ran for two seasons.

Just like in “Taken”, you can expect a lot of routine action violence in “The Beast” complete with gunfights, stabbings and hand to hand combat with kicks and punches. 

To show his exploits as a soldier, Riva as the strong, silent type of asskicking hero is shown in flashbacks being subjected to various kinds of torture by his captors. 

Of course, he gets to escape from them and quickly turns the table on them by killing them all. 

But this type of action scenes in action movies now will always be compared not only to “Taken” but also to the hit Keanu Reeves franchise, “John Wick”, whose grandfather is Stallone’s “Rambo”. 

And compared to those classics in slambang violence, the familiar tropes and action sequences in “The Beast” may now be considered as something pretty tame and familiar. 

As the standard now in action flicks, the police always come late and the bad guys are so over the top who enjoy the best things in life, like drugs and easy women;

That is, until the rampaging hero comes along to give them all the comeuppance that they surely deserve for kidnapping kids that they sell to the highest bidding pervert. 

The chief crime lord here is named Mozart (Andrea Pennachi) and as his name indicates, he’s fond of classical music.

It’s the kind of entertainment that does not require deep thought or serious reflection, so those who are out to just while their time away while we’re on lockdown will certainly find this movie quite enjoyable even if you’ve actually seen it all before. 

Netflix keeps on buying this kind of escapist action flicks from various countries because they know there’s a sure market for it for viewers who just love endlessly watching violent action flicks. 

And we brazenly confess to be one of them. Hahahaha!