MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Beekeeper’ an absurd film, but comically entertaining

Published 9:51 am Monday, February 12, 2024

You certainly can’t accuse “The Beekeeper” of being boring.

The latest vehicle for action star Jason Statham gives fans of the actor the nonstop action that they’ve come to expect, even as the film gets more and more unintentionally funny as it goes along.

The result is a film that is kind of bad, albeit in a mostly entertaining fashion.

In “The Beekeeper,” Statham plays Adam Clay, a reclusive man who lives on the farm of an elderly woman named Eloise (Phylicia Rashad) tending to his hives of bees.

When Eloise commits suicide after falling victim to a phishing scam, Clay decides to take matters into his own hands. In one of the film’s many comical coincidences, Clay happens to be a retired secret operative of a shadow government agency designed to protect the balance of democracy.

Clay uses the skills from his previous work to forge a path that leads all the way to the son of a wealthy heiress (Josh Hutcherson), with Eloise’s daughter (Emmy Raver-Lampman) – an FBI agent (another of the film’s comical coincidences) – torn between stopping Clay and finding the people who scammed her mother.

People don’t go to Statham movies for the story, so the silly plot and wildly nonsensical situations are easy to dismiss mainly because they provide the whole thing with this schlocky kind of entertainment value that is sorely missing from most bad movies.

Statham gets to beat up a lot of people and deliver cheesy lines, mostly bee puns, playing kind of a discount John Wick. Yes, this is kind of fun for a bit but even at a mere 105 minutes it starts to wear a little thin by the end.

Along the way you get to see some established acting talent like Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons and Minnie Driver enter the fray – part of an intricate government conspiracy that builds to a twist that is pretty preposterous even for a film like this.

Director David Ayer does stage it all at a pretty snappy pace where the audience doesn’t have much time to stop and think about how ridiculous it all is, so it does have that going for it. Raver-Lampman is also pretty good here, with her intertwined story probably the strongest asset in the film.

Is “The Beekeeper” a good movie? No. But for the most part it’s comically entertaining, which is probably more than enough to satisfy fans of Statham.

— Grade: C+.  Reviewed by Micheal Compton, Bowling Green Daily News