Behemoth makes it a point to tell audiences what it is in for. Director Peter Szewcyzk may be making his directorial debut, but he is no stranger to blockbusters. His VFX work can be found in films from the Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Marvel Cinematic Universe. An impressive pedigree to say the least. Unsurprisingly, his first movie is filled with creatures and effects. But is that enough?
The premise sounds generic at first, but does add interesting layers. There is the standard revenge story involving a father and his ill daughter, but more intriguing is Behemoth’s subplot. Josh Riverton (Josh Eisenberg) has been shot and is using painkillers to cope with the pain. As his reality begins to unravel around, he begins to wonder if it is the medicine or something more sinister.
It turns out to be a better idea in theory than in practice. Behemoth pretends to aim high narratively, but it is content to be a visual spectacle. This is a good thing since it is one of the most impressive movies audiences will see this year. Rooms bleed, goats burn, and Hell looks…well, hellish in this nightmare landscape. It is a treat for the eyes and will rival major studios for sheer bombast.
If only the rest of the film could live up to the production. The writing almost seems purposely lazy. Behemoth does not give its cast much to work with. The dialogue is simple and ineffective. Which is not to say better writing would have saved things. The performances are stiff and lack any energy. Even the scenes refuse to cooperate. The movie has no sense of urgency and is just a series of things happening. A person would hard pressed to find something that looks better; but that does not necessarily make this worth watching.
Behemoth comes to digital platforms August 27
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