Jason Statham is a busy man right now! He continues to crank out action movies to keep audiences entertained. He stars as a former operative of the secret organization known as The Beekeepers, who’s job is to keep a social balance in society. Once on a mission, The Beekeepers cannot be stopped. After his elderly friend is scammed by a group of millennial hackers, he embarks on a journey of vengeance to bring down the organization taking advantage of these people.
I love a good action-thriller. Jason Statham is proving to have a career full of longevity and success. It’s quite possible he has another franchise brewing with “The Beekeeper”. Although he doesn’t speak much in the film, he carries the heavyweight tough guy persona very well. He combines elements from the “Taken” and “John Wick” movies into his performance. His character is a man so skilled and dangerous that the reputation surrounding him sends shivers down the villain’s spines. What I enjoyed most about the film is that it takes inspiration from the old school action movies, utilizing a simple premise that builds as the film goes on. The hilarious but intriguing idea of an organization coding their structure with bee terminology was great. The tongue in cheek humor mixed with an energetic action extravaganza makes for a good balance.
Another surprisingly strong aspect of the film is the score. Each action sequence that builds the tension uses background music to elevate each scene. But there is a fight towards the end of the film that doesn’t use any music at all. I enjoyed that director David Ayer uses restraint in moments like this, where sometimes just letting two meatheads duke it out is all we need. But seriously, that fight towards the end is awesome! An aspect that usually makes or breaks a movie for me is how the story is introduced. If I’m not invested early it is difficult to rope me in later. But the filmmakers introduced a premise that makes the audience sympathize with our protagonists and hate the villains. It moves fast and efficiently.
I also enjoyed how the film explores modern day issues with timely concerns and a fresh villain. Josh Hutcherson and Jeremy Irons play the big bads here, where Hutcherson leans into the spoiled rich kid persona very well. But at the same time it pokes fun at the progressive nature of someone his age and how someone so privileged can act in such a way. It was neat seeing how the villain wasn’t a skilled combat veteran, but a weasel who uses others to protect himself. He and his company scam old people to steal their money, which is a growing concern in this day and age. Strap in and enjoy watching Statham go on his tirade to catch Huthcerson. It’s a blast!
Although I had a good time with “The Beekeeper”, it unfortunately doesn’t hold pace for the entire film. The first third is excellent, setting up the premise in a great way. But the final third of the film is very messy and tries to do too much. Many different side plots and ideas are explored that convolute the story. I won’t say what they are, but it’s apparent that it would have been smarter to keep the lore of the Beekeepers simpler. Not to mention the twists involving the government towards the end. I didn’t care much for that.
The film carries a self-aware B-movie feel to it. So naturally, there will be a level of silliness. This tone will hit with the target audience but I can see others perceiving it as dumb. The level of enjoyment audiences will get will depend on how much they’re able to turn their brains off. Thinking too hard about plot logic could sour those who enjoy a good story structure. This is unfortunate because the first third of the movie set up a very intriguing premise, only to go off the rails in the third act.
I got what I wanted out of “The Beekeeper”. David Ayer has provided a fast paced piece of entertainment that is better than it should have been. Statham sticks to his guns, giving fans what they want. Although the story goes bonkers in the final act, there’s enough here to warrant a recommendation. Action lovers in particular will have a great time. Not a bad way to begin the new year!