Jason Statham is going to do what Jason Statham does. And for the most part, him kicking ass is good enough for us and a cake walk for him. Whatever story it may be – it truly doesn’t matter. His vengeance-fueled, tough guy schtick is what action aficionados want and I’ll be damned if that’s not what they are going to get in The Beekeeper. There’s fun to be had in its ridiculousness, and while it doesn’t take itself super seriously, it could afford to be funnier to further prove the action flick is clearly aware of its own idiocy.
Adam Clay (Statham) is a legit beekeeper living out on his neighbor Eloise’s (Phylicia Rashad) farm. Nothing to see here but a harmless chap who loves his hive. If you have seen anything starring Statham, you know there’s more to Clay than he lets on. He was a different sort of beekeeper before he retired – a human weapon from a covert organization that operates outside of any system created. Of course, we aren’t suppose to know that yet when he finds Eloise dead after she commits suicide due to all of her accounts being wiped out from computer scammers.
Her daughter (Emmy Raver-Lampman) finds him at the scene of the crime and just so happens to be a FBI agent as well. After she realizes he’s not the one responsible, she spends the rest of the movie chasing after him as he makes it his mission to burn down those who are preying on the weak and elderly. Josh Hutchinson is our main villain, playing a rich brat named Derek Danforth whose mom has a lot of power. For some insane reason Jeremy Irons agreed to be in this as Derek’s babysitter and the only one with the slightest idea of who Clay is and what he’s capable of. It’s all quite beneath him but at least he gets to deliver the best line of The Beekeeper. He warns Derek, telling him Clay will be the “last pair of eyes you’re going to sneer at.” Sounds like Shakespeare when he says it.
Director David Ayer (Suicide Squad, End of Watch, Fury) says he didn’t want to go as dark as he usually does and have this one be a love letter to the action movies that inspired him growing up. Not sure which titles he’s referring to, but The Beekeeper is a standard Statham sandwich. And guess what? Him and writer Kurt Wimmer (Equilibrium, Law Abiding Citizen) ain’t changing one damn component. Feed the British badass as many scum bags as humanly possible and watch him smash every single one. Chow down, moviegoers!
There is one shocking thing in The Beekeeper and it’s when I truly believed Statham was going to go the entire movie without shooting someone. Seriously, he disassembles guns instead of firing them. But then there’s a shootout at the end, so there that. It was a good effort, anyway. But the man doesn’t need no stinking guns. His hands are weapons in case you need to be reminded. Statham is and will always be a bona fide action star. You can add Sylvester Stallone, Guy Ritchie, or a big ass shark as his co-star, but we have seen what he has to offer. Take it or leave it at this point. His collaboration with Ayer should be more memorable, yet there’s that reliable swagger of Statham that gets us every time. He doesn’t float like a butterfly, but you best believe he still stings like a bee.
Brandon Vick is a member of The Music City Film Critics’ Association and the Southeastern Film Critics Association, the resident film critic of the SoBros Network, and the star of The Vick’s Flicks Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @SirBrandonV and be sure to search #VicksFlicks for all of his latest movie reviews.
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