Black Beach is an action-adventure movie directed by Esteban Crespo and starring Raúl Arévalo, Paulina García and Candela Peña, alongside other cast members.
How many movies have we come across where we see an idea of a continent filled with Black people saved by the white American guy? The movies and shows are endless, the tone with them are always condescending and sometimes they are extremely annoying to watch.
Esteban Crespo’s Black Beach, with its decent acting and direction, treads on a tried-and-tested path that we have treaded oh-so-many times, but still seems a little different from the myriad of movies with similar themes.
Carlos, a businessman working for an oil company and fuelled by ambition, goes to Africa to mediate an American engineer’s kidnapping. The idea sounds something that you might have seen before, doesn’t it? And it is, really. Carlos is unaware of the muck he’s getting himself into, and with politics driving everything around him, he gets to learn some very hard truths.
Black Beach is nothing new or amazing. However, it has a charm and intelligence to it that you might not expect from a movie with such a premise. The movie starts off with lots of information shoved in our faces, but it doesn’t seem too much although it is quite familiar. It traverses themes and stories that we have seen before, instances of pain and suffering and a messiah to save them all that have been spoon-fed to us for years. However, unlike other movies where it feels almost insulting, Black Beach atleast tries to make it not so in your face.
Black Beach does not feature too heavy drama or too deep conversations. Honestly, there’s nothing new or ingenious at play here. However, it is still quite entertaining to watch and takes care of its premise quite well. Talking about the white-protagonist-saves-the-people-of-colour trope, the movie atleast gives Carlos a personal connection with the place – a place that no one really quite defines though. Does it make the situation better? Marginally. However, as I said above, it doesn’t feel as in-your-face as other movies of this nature do.
The performances throughout are fine, although it is Raúl Arévalo’s Carlos who takes the cake. He’s pretty good and consistent here and is believable as the man trying to piece things together and save the day. His character is enough to keep us interested throughout, but it’s nothing phenomenal to make a lasting impression.
Summing up: Black Beach
Black Beach is yet another action-thriller that doesn’t bring much when it comes to delivering something new. It’s not an edge-of-your-seat thriller, but it’s still entertaining enough to keep you pushing through. The movie has its moments but it never reaches the point where it becomes memorable. The themes and situations are things you have seen many times before but it still uses them to a somewhat advantage. Truly a one-time watch.
Black Beach is streaming on Netflix.
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