|12 january 2024
The Beekeeper, directed by David Ayer and starring the charismatic Jason Statham, offers an unabashed action experience that builds on an absurd premise with flair and gusto. While the film doesn't rewrite the rules of the action genre, it does provide a memorable moment for viewers looking for a thrilling, popcorn-loving escape.
The story begins with Eloise Parker (Phylicia Rashad) falling prey to an online scam, resulting in the loss of her life savings and charity funds. This tragic event propels unsuspecting beekeeper Adam Clay (Statham) on a relentless quest for revenge. Jason Statham, in his element, effortlessly balances the seriousness of his character by delivering his trademark bone-crushing action and breathtaking lines.
The film's many strengths lie in the magnetic performance of Jasn Statham, whose character embarks on a cross-country road trip, systematically dismantling a criminal enterprise responsible for Eloise's death. The action sequences are electrifying, perfectly choreographed and exploit Jason Statham's physical prowess to deliver an adrenaline rush. From brutal hand-to-hand combat to the innovative use of everyday objects as weapons, The Beekeeper features a variety of magically choreographed action scenes that respond to the actor's strengths.
However, the film could have done with some psychological fleshing out of its many villains. What begins as a quest for revenge against local crooks quickly turns into a crusade against an international criminal organization. The lack of depth and backstory for these adversaries leaves the audience slightly detached, diminishing the story's emotional impact.
The supporting cast, notably Josh Hutcherson as the villainous technician Derek Danforth and Jeremy Irons as a former CIA director, bring additional elements to the film. Josh Hutcherson's performance as the favored antagonist adds an engaging dynamic, while Jeremy Irons brings a more understated performance. However, the subplot involving FBI agents, in particular Eloise's daughter Verona (Emmy Raver-Lampman), seems forced and lacks any particular resonance, contributing to a slightly slower pace.
Director David Ayer breathes energy into the film, embracing the bee motif with clever visuals and engaging with the absurdity of the premise. The inclusion of bee puns and Jason Statham's deadpan tone inject a welcome comic element, striking a balance between seriousness and levity. The beekeeper is the must-see action film of the new year, and we haven't seen such a success since the memorable John Wick: Chapter 4.
In the great tradition of January releases, The Beekeeper certainly delivers on its promise of thrilling, action-packed entertainment. David Ayer's direction, Jason Statham's unwavering charisma and the film's self-awareness make it perfect entertainment for fans of classic action cinema. With its action and Jason Statham's undeniable charm, The Beekeeper is a delightfully entertaining experience to see again and again.
Directed by David Ayer
Written by Kurt Wimmer
Produced by Bill Block, David Ayer, Chris Long, Jason Statham, Kurt Wimmer
With Jason Statham, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Josh Hutcherson, Bobby Naderi, Minnie Driver, Phylicia Rashad, Jeremy Irons
Director of photography: Gabriel Beristain
Editing: Geoffrey O'Brien
Music: Dave Sardy, Jared Michael Fry
Production companies: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Miramax, Cedar Park Studios Punch Palace Productions
Distributed by Amazon MGM Studios
Release date: January 12, 2024 (U.S.)
Running time: 105 minutes
Viewed: January 31, 2024 (VOD)