Slowly, but surely, John David Washington is carving out himself a nice film career. The son of Hollywood legend Denzel Washington finds himself moving in the right direction again as his new film is sitting at #1 on Netflix.
Beckett is John David’s new film and finds him playing the title character, a man who isn’t hip on traveling but does so for his girlfriend April (Alicia Vikander). John David sees his character, as an “ordinary man,” a man who is cruising through life, making his girlfriend happy, not looking for any trouble. Problem is that trouble sometimes finds those who aren’t looking.
Beckett and April are in Athens, Greece vacationing when the political unrest begins. They decide to leave the city to escape it, so they bolt for a hotel located outside of Athens. During the drive, Beckett is overcome with tiredness, falling asleep at the wheel. Before he can wake, the car crashes into a nearby home.
Beckett is in the driver’s seat trying to get his faculties right. While doing so, he sees a young red-haired boy being whisked away out of the room by a woman. Now out of the car, Beckett sees that the accident has killed April.
Beckett wakes up in the hospital and a broken arm. While being interviewed by the local Greek authorities, he is told how lucky he was that the house he crashed into was vacant. But Beckett claims that not to be true. He tells the police that he saw a red-headed boy.
Despondent, Beckett leaves the hospital with sleeping pills in his grasp. He goes back to the house he crashed into with one goal. As he begins to take the sleeping pills, a blonde woman appears and starts to shoot at him. What is going on here?
Beckett hides in the bushes outside and while hiding, the same policeman he told about the boy pulls up, calling to Beckett. He tells Beckett that there has been a mistake, for Beckett to come out. As soon as Beckett stands, the blonde woman shoots at him again, hitting him in the arm.
Now Beckett is a man on the run, and he doesn’t know why. With the officer and blonde woman hot on his heels, Beckett finds refuge in the home of an old hunter. This doesn’t last as the officer and blonde woman arrive, attacking the old hunter, but allowing for Beckett to once again escape. Beckett needs to get to the American Embassy, which is an easy five-hour ride away.
As Beckett slowly makes his way toward the embassy, he sees two women putting up posters around town. On the poster is the red-headed boy. Beckett is now beginning to put things together. The red-headed boy is the kidnapped son of a liberal politician. The two women offer to take Beckett to the embassy. When Beckett finally gets to the embassy, not everyone is who they claim to be. Beckett still has a mess to sort out, but he is unsure of who to believe. There is also that situation with the red-headed boy that needs taking care of.
Comparisons of John David Washington’s Beckett to Bruce Willis’ John McClane are inevitable. The fact that they are ordinary men thrust into extraordinary circumstances is not for nothing. But as John David explains, he feels his character is actually the anthesis of Willis’ McClane. “…he doesn’t have the facilities necessarily like John McClain to figure stuff out,” John David says to Collider. “But instead, he found himself wounded and having to survive and he did that, which is what I love. He persevered, even though he doesn’t have a police background or a Navy SEAL training background. He just wants to survive, and he finds a way to.”
Beckett was brought to Netflix by Italian director Ferdinando Cito Filomarino from a script by Kevin A. Rice. With John David’s rise in the Hollywood rankings, it’s easy to see how this movie has premiered as the #1 on Netflix.
As most know, John David Washington is the son of Denzel Washington. What many may not know is that John David played professional football before moving over to acting. John David went undrafted in the 2006 NFL Draft but was eventually signed by the then St. Louis Rams. After being cut by the Rams, they re-signed him to their practice squad. Washington also played for the Rhein Fire in NFL Europe in 2007.
With his football career in limbo, Washington then moved over to the United Football League, where he played for the Sacramento Mountain Lions for five seasons until the league abruptly folded.
Being the son of a Hollywood legend such as Denzel Washington should curry some favor, shouldn’t it? Maybe at first it did as one of John David’s first films was with Denzel Washington in his father’s noir crime thriller, Devil in a Blue Dress. John David was only 10 years old when he appeared in his father’s movie, and it was nothing more than a small part as a young boy with a toy rifle. To date, this would be the only time he and his father would appear on screen together.
The rest, John David had to work out for himself. And boy did he. John David’s resume isn’t remotely as luxurious as Denzel’s, but he is well on his way to making his own mark. His first big role came in 2015 when Dwayne Johnson brought him on board for the HBO series, Ballers. John David played Ricky Jerret for five seasons on the popular series.
During those five seasons, John David also began to find feature films to his liking. He was seen in Love Beats Rhymes, Monsters and Men, and Monster before he truly opened eyes with his performance as Ron Stallworth in Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman. The role would earn Washington Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations. Maybe there is a little bit of Denzel Washington in him after all.
John David would take that success to his next film, The Old Man and the Gun, where he starred opposite another screen legend, Robert Redford. Apparently, Washington’s career caught the eye of big-time director Christopher Nolan, because the Dark Knight trilogy director then hired Washington to play his lead in the mind-bending film, Tenet.
With Beckett in the bank, John David Washington has a couple of projects lined up. One is a David O. Russell project that has Washington acting alongside some Hollywood heavyweights like Robert De Niro, Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, Zoe Saldana, Rami Malek, Mike Myers, and Anya-Taylor Joy. The other project is titled True Love where he will star opposite Danny McBride.
You can see John David Washington’s new film, Beckett, on Netflix.