In the action-packed world of cinema, bees have had their fair share of screen time. While we have had gems like Candyman and the award-winning documentary Honeyland, we have also witnessed the likes of Jupiter Ascending and Nicolas Cage's memorable line from The Wicker Man: Killing me won't bring back your goddamn honey! The latest addition to the bee-themed films is David Ayer's The Beekeeper, featuring the ever-charismatic Jason Statham. Although this new action vehicle doesn't necessarily bring bees to the forefront of the silver screen, it certainly mentions them a lot. Let's dive into the world of The Beekeeper and see how it fares.
Adam Clay, played by Jason Statham, lives a seemingly quiet life as a beekeeper. Little does the world know that he is a retired operative from a mysterious government agency known as 'Beekeepers.' When a close friend falls victim to a scam and takes their own life, Clay takes it upon himself to seek revenge on the scammers. This sets him on a bloody mission that takes him to the highest echelons of power.
The Bee Motif
The script, penned by Kurt Wimmer, leaves no opportunity untouched when it comes to emphasizing the bee motif. It's as if the scriptwriter wanted to hammer the idea of bees into the minds of the audience. Throughout the movie, we encounter lines like You've been a busy bee and You kicked the beehive, and now we have to reap the whirlwind. These references, while occasionally amusing, often feel forced and lack the desired impact. One-liners like Who the fuck are you, Winnie-The-Pooh? attempt to inject some old-fashioned action-movie charm but fall flat. Moreover, the bee-related dialogue To be or not to be followed by the response To bee! is simply baffling and adds to the overall inconsistency of the film.
Action Scenes and Inconsistencies
The action scenes in The Beekeeper suffer from inconsistency. While the hand-to-hand combat sequences are well-executed, other action sequences lack the same finesse. The film's overall direction by David Ayer seems to aim for a tongue-in-cheek approach. Unfortunately, the execution falls short, leaving the audience more prone to laugh at the film rather than with it. The script and direction desperately strive to embrace humor, but the result is an almost entirely witless movie. It feels as if the filmmakers first decided on the title and then attempted to build a bee-themed action movie around it. Consequently, certain aspects of the plot make little sense, such as the former CIA director discussing honey or an FBI agent delving into pollination methods.
Jason Statham, known for his gruff and tough-guy roles, delivers his signature performance as Adam Clay. With his carefully cultivated stubble and unwavering grimace, Statham brings a sense of rugged masculinity to the beekeeping outfit. However, even Statham's presence cannot salvage the film. His portrayal of Clay is convincing, but the lackluster action scenes and inconsistent direction overshadow his efforts. Much like his co-star Dwayne Johnson, Statham's roles often blend into one another, with his characters becoming interchangeable tough guys. While his performance is undoubtedly gruffly convincing, it takes a considerable amount of time before he is allowed to showcase his ass-kicking skills.
Over-Editing and Lack of Character Development
One of the major drawbacks of The Beekeeper is its over-editing and over-lit action scenes. The excessive editing style reminiscent of Michael Bay's films detracts from the overall viewing experience. It becomes challenging to invest in the fight sequences when we know so little about the characters involved. The film primarily focuses on Statham's character, leaving the supporting cast as faceless, endless adversaries for him to dispatch with ease. While this may satisfy audiences seeking mindless action, it leaves much to be desired in terms of character development and emotional investment.
In the realm of bee-themed movies, The Beekeeper falls short of creating a memorable experience. While Jason Statham's charismatic presence adds some appeal, the inconsistent action scenes and forced bee analogies hinder the film's potential. The over-editing and lack of character development further contribute to its downfall. The Beekeeper may entertain those solely seeking mindless action, but it fails to deliver a cohesive and engaging narrative. Ultimately, it can be categorized as nothing more than bee-movie trash.