Beckett and April are in love.
After their first real fight (there was allegedly shouting involved), they make a rule that even when they fight, they’re still together.
And perhaps that rule would have never been broken if it wasn’t for a tragedy…
The next evening, Beckett and April travel from Athens, Greece, to a small village on the outskirts of, well, Beckett isn’t quite sure where. But he says he’s good to drive, even though it’s quite late.
Unfortunately, he isn’t as good as he thought.
Beckett falls asleep at the wheel. The car veers off the road, flips and crashes into an abandoned house. April is thrown from the vehicle and pronounced dead on scene.
It’s the end of their journey together—but only the beginning of another journey for Beckett.
Before fainting after the crash, Beckett sees a young boy and a woman in the house they’ve hit. The police later tell him it was probably just immigrants squatting. But shortly after giving the police these details, Beckett is shot.
He tries to go to the police for help, but they’re in on it, too. So, if he wants to survive, he’ll have to make his way back to Athens—back to the place that holds memories of April—and reach the U.S. Embassy for help.
Beckett learns that the boy he saw at the car accident is actually the kidnapped nephew of a political candidate. But when given the opportunity to walk away with his life and forget about the boy, Beckett chooses to pursue the matter, risking his own life to save the boy’s.
Many people are kind to Beckett and help him. They offer him food, shelter and first aid. One woman helps calm Beckett when he has a panic attack. And two men actually carry Beckett to the U.S. Embassy after he collapses.
April talks about the mythical god Zeus’ oracle and says she wants to find an oracle herself to tell her what her future will be. Someone references an angel losing its wings. People describe a picture of “praying hands.”
Beckett and April are unmarried, though we see them in bed together, covered only by sheets (and when the sheets slip, we see quite a bit of skin). They kiss and make out several times as well. April makes up a story that a couple is having a “sex-affair,” which Beckett calls “sleazy.”
A car crash kills April. We see the vehicle fly through the air and into a house. We also April’s prostrate body after it lands, bleeding heavily from her head. (And we see that same pool of blood later on when Beckett revisits the crash site.) Beckett later visits April’s body in the morgue.
Corrupt police officers and members of an extremist political group shoot at Beckett, hitting him in the arm and the stomach. A mercenary succeeds in stabbing him in a stairwell. One officer follows him onto a train and beats him up (breaking Beckett’s fingers, too) while bystanders watch, unsure of what to do.
Police officers hit a man in the face for helping Beckett, breaking his nose. They also shoot his dog for barking. Later, one of them admits to harming some beekeepers who lent Beckett their phone.
We see Beckett shirtless a few times, revealing every bruise, cut and bullet wound (we also see heavy bruising from where his seatbelt protected him during the car accident that killed April).
Beckett himself is not completely innocent. He fights back against the police officer who broke his fingers and even accidentally shoots the man in the foot while struggling over a gun. He later Tases a man trying to attack him, causing the man to wreck his car. And when that man shows up again later on, Beckett breaks an industrial lightbulb over the guy’s head. And though these acts are in self-defense, Beckett moves into a state of aggression, going from prey to predator.
Beckett beats one of his would-be killers to death with a metal pipe. He follows a woman who has been searching for him to a parking garage where he breaks the window of her car, shoots her comrade in the hand and pulls her out of the vehicle through the broken window. In the following scuffle, he shoots the woman in the knee (he is shot himself, as well) and then kills her by slamming her head repeatedly into the concrete.
Beckett also shows a certain disregard for his own life. Before the manhunt for him begins, he contemplates taking his own life. Later, he leaps from a cliff to escape the police, and his fall is broken by a tree. He jumps onto a moving vehicle from several stories up to stop the driver from escaping with a kidnapped boy in the trunk. And when everything is said and done, he still maintains that he should have died in place of April.
An assassin brings a gun to a political rally, and we hear the gunshot when he shoots the political candidate hosting it. (We also later see the assassin lying dead on the ground from a bullet wound.)
Later, we see protesters running away from the rally coughing and covering their mouths from gas that was released. (Some people are bleeding, and others create makeshift weapons from loose concrete and crowbars to protect themselves). A few people in the streets use weapons to cause mayhem, destroying vehicles and starting fires. At the rally, many people fight police armored in riot gear.
There are 15 uses of the f-word (two written on signs and one paired with Christ’s name) and 10 uses of the s-word. We also hear “a–hole,” “h—” and “p-ss.” God’s name is misused six times (twice paired with “d–mit”) and Jesus’ name is also misused twice (including the aforementioned pairing with the f-word).
After April’s death, Beckett finds a bottle of Ambien pills in her luggage. He pockets the bottle and later contemplates taking all of the pills at once (more on this in Violent Content).
People smoke throughout. We see some young people passing around a marijuana joint. A man pours drinks for himself and Beckett. We hear some jokes about alcohol. People sit at a bar. We see wine bottles in the background of several scenes.
There’s kidnapping, lying, corruption, negative political discourse, gaslighting and manipulation all happening here—and that’s just on the police force. (We hear that one political group has paid off the police.)
People break the law to help Beckett, hiding him in their homes and cars and lying to police as to his whereabouts. And while this works out well for our protagonist, it also invites viewers to question whether the morality of helping a man in need outweighs obeying the law.
We see Beckett’s grief in small spurts. Because he is running for his life, he doesn’t have time to process April’s death. As a result, when faced with things that remind him of her, he has panic attacks, adding to the suspense of the film since these instances could get him killed.
Someone says you urinate and defecate your pants when you are tased. Beckett tries (and fails) to steal someone’s motorcycle.
Beckett—both the man and the movie—is a bit of a paradox. On the one hand, we have a man who truly believes he should have died in place of his girlfriend. He believes his life isn’t worth living anymore and even contemplates taking it.
But on the other hand, Beckett is also willing to risk his life to save a young boy whom he’s never even met.
And as Beckett is being chased, stabbed, shot and manipulated, he’s also trying to process his grief at April’s death. It’s only in the short moments in between chases—the moments where he’s allowed to catch his breath—when he’s able to think about April and all that she meant to him.
The saddest part, though, is that even after Beckett manages to save the boy’s life, he still believes he should have died.
Statistically speaking, he’s not wrong. Throughout most of the film, Beckett is being chased by extremist members of political parties and corrupt police officers, getting stabbed and shot multiple times. He even walks away from not just one but two car wrecks. He does some damage himself, but the number of times Beckett cheats death is astronomical.
Language is also a pretty big issue here, with 15 uses of the f-word and a few abuses of the Lord’s name paired with other profanities. But even if we could somehow mitigate these concerns about violence and language, it’s still a sad tale.
Perhaps it’s because Beckett isn’t allowed time to grieve that he doesn’t value his own life very much. If he hadn’t fallen asleep at the wheel, April wouldn’t have died. If he hadn’t survived, he wouldn’t have seen the boy. If he hadn’t seen the boy, he wouldn’t have been chased. And if he hadn’t been chased, he might have taken his own life shortly after April’s death as he originally planned, the film seems to suggest.
Of course, that’s all conjecture. And perhaps Beckett will find meaning later on in his life. But for now, Beckett is an action thriller that any potential viewers will want to approach with caution and discernment before watching.
Emily studied film and writing when she was in college. And when she isn’t being way too competitive while playing board games, she enjoys food, sleep, and indulging in her “nerdom,” which is the collective fan cultures of everything she loves, such as Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.