The Beekeeper

The Beekeeper is a wild ride – ultra-violent, over-the-top nonsense. But – dare I admit it – also a guilty pleasure. Some of the dialogue is horrendous. The scene that gets the plot going is extremely wooden. Plausibility is never in question because it simply doesn’t exist. And yet the choreographed action, with one man taking on the FBI, Secret Service and more and leaving them impotent, is impressive.

That man is Adam Clay (Jason Statham), who is a most diligent beekeeper. He is also a retired operative for a shadowy, off-the-books organisation that operates outside the law. People like him are known as beekeepers because their job is to keep the hive of government functioning and the nation safe. Clay now leads a quiet life tending to his honeybees. He occupies the barn of an isolated property owned by Eloise Parker (Phylicia Rashad). She is the director of a charity with no knowledge of IT security. When her computer is hacked, she falls prey to a ruthless scam involving data skimming, which rids the charity of its money and her of her life’s savings.

Her downfall brings into play her distanced FBI agent daughter Verona (Emmy Raver-Lampman) and fellow agent Matt Wiley (Bobby Naderi). But they are always one step behind Clay, who comes out of retirement to exact revenge on those who fleeced Eloise Parker. That involves blowing up a call centre that targets the elderly and working his way up the food chain to cut off the head of the snake. Among those standing in his way are former CIA director Wallace Westwyld (Jeremy Irons) and a 28-year-old bad boy, Derek Danforth (Josh Hutcherson). There’s a further twist in store late in the piece. Still, you can’t say Clay is anything but driven.

The script is by Kurt Wimmer (Point Break), with direction from David Ayer (Suicide Squad). One-note Jason Statham hardly sets the world on the fire in the acting stakes, but he sure can kick butt. Emma Raver-Lampman displays get up and go as the FBI agent with skin in the game. There is also some droll humour involved in Verona’s interplay with her partner, which Bobby Naderi handles well. Josh Hutcherson isn’t stretched in playing an arrogant, entitled prat. His role is to repel the audience from his first frame, which he manages to do readily. And there’s an elegance about Jeremy Irons as the ex-CIA chief caught out of his depth.

I appreciated Gabriel Beristain’s (Black Widow) evocative cinematography, whether that be the solitude of beekeeping or the mayhem that ensues. The Beekeeper is undoubtedly a good looking movie.

While I cringed at much of the scripting, I still found myself strangely invested in the journey. So, that leaves the movie as a showy mixed bag.

Alex First

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