First things first the plot for The Beekeeper is utterly absurd yet I couldn’t take my eyes off it. With even the slightest bit of research on this film you will know that you’ll need to switch off your brain and just let the madness unfold and if you can do that it’s plenty entertaining. Albeit no matter how much you switch off you will burst out laughing at least twice during the film due to the absolute ludicrousness of it and what’s worse is I’m not sure if they’ve done that on purpose.
Jason Statham plays a guy called Adam Clay a retired member of an elite clandestine organisation that hands out brutal forms of justice, agents for this organisation are known as ‘Beekeepers’. These agents are so deadly they make SEAL Team Six members look like “pussies” we are majestically told by Jeremy Irons character Wallace Westwyld.
This information basically gives Statham’s character free reign to obliterate his enemy’s and he does so in devastatingly brutal fashion after a neighbor and friend of his Eloise Parker (Phylicia Rashad) is scammed out of her life’s work and savings, after calling a call centre when her laptop is infected with a virus
Statham is rough and gruff as always, he makes a strong action lead and is intimidating enough to carry the story through the crazy plot and writing. He is the only reason to watch The Beekeeper, watching him creatively kill and mutilate his enemies is what we watch theses types of movies for. However he has made an odd choice of accent a mixture of British and American, it was unnecessary.
The screenplay by Kurt Wimmer is nothing short of nonsensical, making the lead character an actual Beekeeper after being an agent ‘Beekeeper’ and filling the script with Bee themed lines “protecting the hive,” “smoking out the hornets,” “killing the queen” and my personal favorite “Who the fuck are you, Winnie-The-Pooh?” It’s like a theme was picked out of the sky and an espionage/revenge thriller was written around it.
This film has a wealth of talent such as Jeremy Irons, Josh Hutcherson and Emmy Raver-Lampman all of which gave me high hopes but unfortunately every single one of them is wasted on this script. Irons plays an ex-CIA director now working as a glorified babysitter for rich kid Derek Danforth (Hutcherson). Hutcherson spends most of his time on the phone tracking the devastation caused by Statham, his character is nothing but an awful, spoilt and terribly dressed brat. And Raver-Lampman as FBI agent Verona Parker spends all her time chasing Statham around the various piles of bodies he leaves in his wake.
This looks an attempt to launch a Jason Statham action franchise but John Wick this is not. The hand-to-hand combat is nowhere near as slick, the story just isn’t strong enough and it just doesn’t have the style needed to carry it forward.
This does suffice as a stand alone action film and it’s a fine popcorn flick to simply enjoy Statham creatively tear his way through squads of goons and dispatch particularly unlikeable characters in the most satisfying ways. Switch your brain off and don’t expect too much.