The Beekeeper is more of the Jason Statham action we should expect by this point, which is its greatest strength but also its greatest flaw.
We’re going to make action movies out of every mundane profession at this rate. What’s next, The Accountant? The Mechanic? The Commuter?
(What do you mean they all exist???)
Directed by David Ayer, The Beekeeper sees Jason Statham play Adam Clay, a former operative of Beekeepers, a secret government operation. When a phishing company ends up getting the better of a neighbor he’s grown attached to, leading to her suicide, Clay takes it upon himself to enact revenge. Think John Wick but not as clever or stylish, and with 100% less hair.
Look, The Beekeeper is nothing complicated. It’s a January movie featuring Jason Statham as a super badass action hero. If you know anything about Jason Statham and the types of films he usually stars in, you should know exactly what you are in for. This is yet another dad movie.
Statham might not be a dad in this one, but it’s a dad movie, mark my words. The type of action movies that establish the bare minimum of character investment (typically by showing the main character as a family man or something similar) in a super badass protagonist and then fill up the runtime with them doing badass things. If you have read my past reviews, well first of all I appreciate that: hope you enjoyed. But also, you would know that I have a history of reviewing these sort of movies. I have a reasonably good time with them.
Again, they are nothing complex or special, and neither is The Beekeeper. But Statham is the key to making this all work. He’s like Liam Neeson or Dwayne Johnson in that regard; all of his characters blend together despite their different coats of paint, and yet you somehow never get tired of watching them. Statham is really the bee’s knees at this sort of role. His roles have a sense of cold, focused energy to them that exudes a sense of dangerous confidence.
All these films have to do is provide me with a baseline sense of investment and a sense of catharsis from seeing baddies get brutalized in entertaining ways. The Beekeeper does exactly that. I mentioned Statham carrying this film through his energy, but I could also feel how invested Clay was in this matter, and the film keeps things streamlined with a basic but easy to follow plot. The action is standard but clean. There aren’t any amazing stunts or whatnot, but you can follow along every move and each hit feels appropriately brutal.
And it helps that the bad guys are phishers this time around. This is for more personal reasons, but after nearly falling for one a couple days ago, this film fulfilled my fantasies of being able to track down phishers and crack their skulls open until there’s a gash wide enough to fit an entire phone in. Sometimes to justify the protagonist’s actions, making the villains as scummy as possible is a legitimate strategy.
While I could end the review with that, I also want to address a related topic: the sheer abundance of these sort of junk food action movies. A lot of movies nowadays face criticism for feeling “uninspired,” “lazy,” “cash-grabs.” Stuff like comic book movies, Disney live action remakes, revival sequels, most of them often get lambasted for their lack of originality and blatant attempts at squeezing money out of nostalgia-blinded moviegoers. So why am I cutting these sort of dad movies so much slack when they arguably are just as repetitive, possibly more?
Obviously, standards vary with people. But for me, the biggest factors I look for in a movie is immersion and entertainment. If a film is clearly making an effort to entertain me and doesn’t bring up any major plot holes or other elements that break my immersion, then I can be satisfied, even if the experience may feel familiar. The Beekeeper clearly knows what sort of film it is, and makes no effort to hide it. What it does put effort into are the two factors I mentioned, and that is why I feel comfortable enjoying it.
It may seem like a low bar, but it’s a bar not all dad movies pass, as you may see with some of my other dad movie reviews. So all in all, is The Beekeeper something you absolutely must fork over your hard-earned fifteen bucks for? No. But do I regret spending that much to go watch Jason Statham kick phishers’ ass for 105 minutes? No. I am still glad this movie came to bee.
The Beekeeper is now available to watch in US theaters and UK cinemas.