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The Beekeeper – Movie Review
January 10, 2024

Synopsis: In The Beekeeper, one man’s brutal campaign for vengeance takes on national stakes after he is revealed to be a former operative of a powerful and clandestine organization known as “Beekeepers”.
Director: David Ayer
Stars: Jason Statham, Josh Hutcherson, Jeremy Irons, Phylicia Rashad, Minnie Driver

In previous reviews, I have used the term emotional capital. There was emotional capital when Avengers: Endgame was released: ten-plus years of Marvel movies led to that. There was emotional capital when Barbie came out: people were excited to see a movie based on the famous toy. These two films had years of emotional capital.

Although no one is suggesting that The Beekeeper, the newest film starring Jason Statham, will achieve that kind of loyalty from a fan base, there is another type of emotional capital at play here that will invest the audience in the story.

In the film, we meet Adam Clay (Statham), who has just helped Eloise Parker (Phylicia Rashad) clear out a hive of bees at her home. The two have a bond, and Mrs. Parker appears to be something of a mother figure to Adam, who otherwise seems to be closed off from society. The kindness he receives from Mrs. Parker allows him to trust her.

Speaking of trust, one day, while Clay is tending to the bees, Mrs. Parker gets an alert on her computer. An alert we have all seen before. She is instructed to call a number to get ‘help.’ What she doesn’t realize is that she is calling into a scam call centre that preys on the vulnerable, the gullible and the senior community. We have all seen segments on the news where people are conned out of significant amounts of money, which is exactly what happens to Mrs. Parker. Her trusting nature gets the better of her, and before she knows it, she has been taken for everything.

The immediate horror of what has happened to her is apparent on her face as she hasn’t just lost her money.

Later, Clay comes over for dinner and discovers she’s shot herself. Mrs. Parker’s daughter, Veronica Parker, is an Agent with the FBI and informs Clay what has happened and how her mother was conned — Oh, they are in trouble now.

Maybe it is because we’ve seen this happen so often in the news, or perhaps it is because they did it to Claire Huxtable, but the story gets the audience invested.

Clay is a former operative in a secret organization and was known as a Beekeeper. This not only comes with unique skills but also special contacts. He uses the latter to track down the call centre and proceeds to burn it down.

This leads to the understanding that a much bigger entity is at play.

As Clay goes after the baddies, applause can be heard throughout the theatre — this never happened in his previous films, Expendables, Transporter or Crank. Not saying they weren’t entertaining, but this film captures some audience investment. You want to see the bad guys pay for their crimes.

The first two-thirds of the film is quite good. Clay has skills and knows how to use them. Statham is perfectly cast in this role and believable as a kick-ass/take-names type of hero.

The third act ventures into an area that will generate some head-scratching questions but doesn’t take away from the film’s overall enjoyment.

The casting is a bit inconsistent at times. Minnie Driver plays a high-ranking government agent but doesn’t get a lot of material. Jeremy Irons is cast in a role where he is more suitably used.

This is a very enjoyable action flick and a great movie to kick off 2024. It isn’t perfect by any means, but it’s one of the more enjoyable Statham flicks in recent memory — sorry Expendables 4.

The trailer doesn’t give a lot away, which is refreshing. The moral of this story is simple: You don’t mess with Claire Huxtable!

Grade: B

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