Good call, I'm thinking that anyone anywhere near it would be dried into a little withered husk rather rapidly. Unless it works like an X-Ray machine, only the object at the targeted range is affected by the by the beam. Saw a video of a deck hand on an aircraft carrier walk in front of a FA18 hornet that the radar system (basically a focused microwave beam)had malfunctioned, it didn't shut off when the gear dropped. The guy's brain fried like a french omelet, took about 3-4 seconds.
Actually, that whole plot line was screwy. I disagree about the 'beam' aspect - I'm pretty sure that it was an 'area of effect' weapon. So, not only the one guy should get it, but everybody because we're all such large sacks of water.