The Beekeeper: The BRWC Review

The Beekeeper: The BRWC Review

The Beekeeper: The BRWC Review. By Daniel Rester.  

I enjoy watching Jason Statham growling and punching baddies in the face as much as the next guy. But I also enjoy competent scripts and strong direction. The Beekeeper drops the ball in those departments. It’s yet another recent Statham project where the actor rises to the occasion but the film as a whole is a letdown, much like last year’s Meg 2: The Trench and Expend4bles

Written by Kurt Wimmer and directed by David Ayer, The Beekeeper finds Statham as Adam Clay, a former operative for an organization called “The Beekeepers” who hides out by pretending to be – wait for it – an actual beekeeper. After his elderly neighbor commits suicide after falling for a phishing scam, Clay sets out to kill everyone involved with the scam. The main FBI agent hunting Clay also happens to be the daughter of the elderly neighbor. I won’t spoil who the scam leader played by Josh Hutcherson is connected to, but it is also completely absurd. 



The Beekeeper feels like a discount John Wick film on the surface. While the Keanu Reeves pictures developed a rich world involving The Continental, The Beekeeper feels muddled with its organization lore. Wimmer’s characters are all stock action players and the scenarios they are in are routine. The Beekeeper tries to be timely by taking down scam artists and politicians, but its points land with a thud. 

Wimmer attempts to inject tongue-in-cheek dialogue with endless puns, analogies, etc. about bees, but this clashes with Ayer’s serious direction (the closest Ayer comes to being in on the joke is lighting a lot of the scenes with shades of yellow). The silly dialogue might have worked if the film were retooled as an action comedy. As is though, the bee-related wordplay comes across as hilariously inept. Such gems include “Who the fuck are you, Winnie-the-Pooh?” and “To be or not to be.”    

Though it is mostly dumb and trashy, The Beekeeper has its moments. Hutcherson and the great Jeremy Irons have some fun with their villain roles; Irons is an ex-CIA head named Wallace who is protecting Hutcherson’s bratty Derek Danforth. There are a couple of solid action scenes, with one involving an elevator trap and another involving a knife fight in a tight hallway. And again, Statham is always enjoyable to watch in these macho roles. The hand-to-hand fighting here from him is pretty good and offers reprieves from the dialogue exchanges.   

The Beekeeper alternates between being dull and so bad that it’s good. The script by Wimmer is terrible and Ayer’s direction is perfunctory. Statham, Hutcherson, and Irons occasionally give the film some buzz though. 

Rating: 4/10


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