The Beekeeper review: Jason Statham is a former operative of a covert organization, who is thrown back in action when someone close to him falls victim to a vicious scam
Story: Adam Clay (Jason Statham) is a beekeeper, running his business out of a barn he’s rented from a retired school teacher, Eloise Parker (Phylicia Rashad). When she becomes an unwitting victim of an online phishing scam and sees suicide as her only way out of the situation, Adam takes it upon himself to avenge her and bring justice to other helpless victims like her. Adam, as it turns out, is a ghost, which can only mean that he is/was part of an organization that’s designed to keep his status as such. But how will Adam ‘protect the hive (society)’ when the top of the food chain of this scam leads directly to the White House?
The Beekeeper Review: Ludicrous and repetitive are what best describe Jason Statham-led movies. There’s no logic behind most of what unfolds onscreen and he follows the same routine in each of these films - as a one-man army fighting all the baddies of the world. He doesn’t even bother switching up his look in any of these films, as he doles out helluva lot of physical stunts and gun fights, interspersed with the odd ‘punchline’ that he delivers with the most earnest poker face there can be. He is at his A-game in The Beekeeper too, doing what he does best – punch, kick, shoot his way to find the mean machine that’s orchestrating a lot of bad stuff. In the process, he blows things up and leaves quite the body trail behind, but hey, it’s all justified because it’s what he was hired to do. Or at least was, until he resigned for a life of peace and quiet, which gets upended when someone he cares for gets swindled in an online fraud scheme and takes her life. Now, it’s personal and that makes it even worse for the person he’s after.
The Beekeeper’s premise is, literally, cakewalk for Statham; he could have sleepwalked right through and not made one false step. He’s done this enough times, but makes sure it doesn’t get boring for his loyal audience. I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s something about Statham that makes his films fun one-time watches, even when professional hitmen can’t land a punch on him or get a bullet in, while he never misses. Hell, he’s not even wearing a suit laced with the best Kevlar, unlike a certain John Wick, whose films I have come to detest. Even his replacement within the Beekeeper ranks is no match for him. Statham will have you believe he can do all this and more.
The pay-off would have been a lot better if a formidable antagonist was at play. But no, he’s got Josh Hutcherson to contend with, as Derek Danforth, the man running the data mining phishing scheme, who just so happens to be the spoilt brat son of the President of the USA. The role is badly written and it does not help that Josh makes it even more annoying. Jeremy Irons is there too, as the ex-CIA head Wallace Westwyld, who is now in charge of keeping Derek out of the press and jail. Wallace knows that stopping Adam is literally mission impossible, but try he does. Strange that Jeremy Irons would take on such a boring and unmemorable role.
Even the supposed good guys don’t fare much better, like, for instance, Emmy Raver-Lampman as FBI special agent Verona Parker, whose mother Eloise died because of these scamsters. She’s made to run around like a headless chicken trying to make sense of what happened to her mother, and why no one will talk about The Beekeeper. And yet, at the end of this nearly two-hour movie, you’ll walk out chuckling at its absurdity, but also strangely satisfied. You cannot apply logic to a movie that’s all about defying it. Just go with the flow and enjoy it while it lasts.
The Beekeeper verdict: The trailer of The Beekeeper pretty much tells you what the film is about – well, there’s not much anyway - so you know that a trip to the theatre is warranted only if you are a die-hard Statham fan, or, if, like me, you harbour his films as guilty pleasures.