Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of August 22, 2022

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of August 22, 2022

Rated R for violent content, some language and bloody images
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 66%
In Theaters

After the death of his wife, Idris Elba and his two teenage daughters visit South Africa to spend some time with his friend, played by Sharlto Copley, a wildlife biologist who manages a safari park. Everything seems to be going fine when they run across an angry man-hungry lion that wishes to kill any human in its path. Trapping them in the wilderness, the family attempts to use every resource at their disposal to make it out alive. It’s easy to see this heart-pounding thriller as Jaws in the Jungle, and it has many of the elements you’d expect to make that story come to life. What got me to come along was the attempt to give the Lion a story. In the opening moments of the film you see a group of poachers kill off an entire pride of lions, except for a male lion that gets away. If anything, the Lion has a just cause and any human in its way deserves to be there. Of course you don’t want the hero and his daughters to die, but you would certainly understand if they did. This gives a fascinating dynamic to the film that wasn’t even there in Jaws, which just happens to be one of my favorite all-time films. While the family’s story is well-crafted and its easy to gain empathy for them, the script is paint by numbers. It’s dangerous and frightening, but it is certainly not overly imaginative. The characters do some smart things – and then they do some horribly stupid things to further imperil themselves. But by the end you get a really fast-paced 90 minute adventure that keeps you on the edge of your seat just enough to take your mind off the silly moments and keep your eyes on the critical predicament of the protagonists. B