'Beastly': The name says it all

Kevin Thomas's picture

I recently saw a new film with a quite self-explanatory name: “Beastly.” The actors are fine and the source material (the story of “Beauty and the Beast”) is solid, but the film itself is too unbelievable. This is one of those films where you wish it would have been on the Lifetime channel, where they somehow thrive on making movies like this.

If you choose not to heed my warning, the main character is Kyle (Alex Pettyfer, “Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker”, “I am Number Four”) an egotistical, rich, popular kid at Buckston Academy. He is mean to everyone around him and uses his good looks and cash to get whatever he wants. His newest victim is the school Goth, Kendra, (Mary-Kate Olsen, yes it is possible for this person to do a film without her sister, Ashley,) when he says he will take her to a party, but blows her off and humiliates her in front of everyone.

It turns out that Kendra is a witch, and with her powers transforms Kyle into a creature that not even a mother could love. She informs him that he has a year to make a girl love him with his horrific new look or stay like this forever. His self absorbed, shallow, and equally good looking father, once he sees Kyle’s condition, takes him to a secluded apartment outside the city and then leaves the film. Kyle has no one to communicate with except for the Jamaican maid Zola (Lisa Gay Hamilton) and his blind tutor Will (Neil Patrick Harris). Then, after a long series of events I don’t care to go into, another one of Kyle’s school mates, Lindy (Vanessa Hudgens, “High School Musical flicks, “Bandslam”) ends up at the apartment, and, as always, love starts to bloom.

This movie is totally unbelievable. For instance, we go directly from Kyle working out (shirtless, for the tween girls this is designed for) to him making a speech to become class president without any character development. Later, when Lindy sees Kyle’s condition for the first time, she just says, “I’ve seen worse” and doesn’t even ask how the heck that happened to him. I read somewhere that Zac Efron, another “High School Musical” star, was considered for the part of Kyle, I praise him for not taking this part.

Another thing wrong with this film is that Kyle is shirtless in every other scene. When he’s working out, that’s fine, some people do that, but when he’s writing a letter to Lindy? No way? I hate to break it to you, but this is not “Twilight”, where shirtless guys have become acceptable. This is a useless film that should have never been made Even if I had never seen anything that had to do with “Beauty and the Beast” in my life, I would have known something was weird with Kendra even before she got her witch on, that’s just how predictable the film is. Plus, the oddity of the populars, the freaks and the strange kids being at the same party is so unrealistic.

Rated PG-13 for language including crude comments, brief violence (Kyle hits a guy and the guy’s partner is shot), and some thematic material (Lindy’s father is a drug addict).