The Reel Review
An American tourist (John David Washington) vacationing with his girlfriend (Alicia Vikander) deep within mainland Greece finds himself on the run after a tragic car accident lands him in the midst of a dangerous political conspiracy. He must elude deadly killers as he sets out for the U.S. embassy in Athens to clear his name, in this Netflix crime thriller.
Director Ferdinando Cito Filomarino, the now ex-boyfriend of and frequent second unit director to Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name, Suspiria), intended to make a suspense thriller in the vein of such throwbacks as The Fugitive and Roman Polanski’s Frantic. Unfortunately, the throwaway political plot in Beckett is so threadbare it is barely plausible, and the onscreen chemistry between Washington and Vikander (Tomb Raider, The Danish Girl) is painfully nonexistent. If you are looking for a boring thriller, this is it, folks.
When not jumping clumsily out of windows or off balconies, Washington (Tenet, BlacKkKlansman) spends most of his performance getting shot, stabbed and beaten up. His character’s averageness actually helps build suspense, since it is less certain whether he will get out of each scrape or get shot. (He gets shot a lot.) Vicky Krieps (Old, Phantom Thread) is the film’s only bright spot as a political activist who helps him. Unfortunately, the third act is so silly and contrived that it guarantees that this film will be as quickly forgotten as its aptly bland title.
• Beckett was originally titled Born to Be Murdered before Netflix acquired the film and changed the name for release on its streaming service.
• Ferdinando Cito Filomarino and Luca Guadagnino split in 2020 after 11 years.
• Michael Stuhlbarg (Call Me By Your Name) is the voice of April’s father in Beckett.