Wednesday, August 11, 2021

He's on the run but doesn't know why

 Italian director Ferdinando Cito Filomarino directs John David Washington in a thriller that has its moments but ultimately fails to find a galvanizing gear. Washington plays the title character, a young man who's vacationing in Greece with his girlfriend April (Alicia Vikander). The couple leaves Athens because their hotel happens to be situated on the spot where an upcoming political protest has been scheduled. When two people seem as happy as Beckett and April, it hardly comes as a surprise when tragedy strikes. On a country road at night, Beckett falls asleep at the wheel. His car topples down a hill and crashes into a house. April doesn't survive the accident. Not only must Beckett deal with grief and guilt, but he also  finds himself running from a policeman (Panos Koronis) and the cop's female associate (Lena Kitsopoulou). Beckett, who speaks no Greek, has no idea why he's being pursued. The details are mostly irrelevant, but Beckett unwittingly finds himself in the middle of a plot against a leftist candidate that also involves a kidnapping. Beckett tries to outrun his pursuers as he makes his way to Athens and the American embassy. Along the way, Beckett meets two activists (Vicky Krieps and Maria Votti) who give him a ride. Boyd Holbrook, part of a cast of undercooked supporting characters, shows up as an American embassy official whose offers of help may conceal other motives. Beckett's final flight pushes him into violent action. This last-act eruption may have been intended to reflect the frustration Beckett has been building for the entire movie, but it can seem more like a last-minute attempt to up the action ante.  Beckett gets what it can from its Greek settings, but can't distinguish itself as either a straight-ahead thriller or a political drama. 

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