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March 2024

The Beekeeper

Platform(s): Movie
Genre: Action
Publisher: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Release Date: Jan. 12, 2024


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Movie Review - 'The Beekeeper'

by Adam Pavlacka on Jan. 12, 2024 @ 12:15 a.m. PST

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."

We've all gotten them: scam calls offering to extend a car warranty, confirming a phantom Amazon purchase, or pretending to be "tech support" to help you "fix" your computer. For most of us, the calls are little more than annoying, and there doesn't seem to be any way to get them to stop — unless you're a retired agent from a top-secret military unit that operates outside the law. Then you can go all out and take out the scammers.

That's the basic setup for "The Beekeeper," Jason Statham's latest action movie. It's a revenge fantasy against a group that absolutely no one likes: call center scammers.

If you're looking for something deep or profound, this is not your film. On the other hand, if you're up for guns, explosions and some solid hand-to-hand combat, "The Beekeeper" delivers.

The details of the Beekeeper organization are purposefully kept vague, but the movie tells us what we need to know. It's a team that operates outside the law when the law can't handle something. They're the difference between what's legal and what's right, and they're empowered to do whatever it takes. It's a bit "the end justifies the means," but in this case, Statham's character focuses his destructive force on those responsible for causing harm.

In this case, the harm is the suicide of an older friend who had her bank accounts cleaned out by scammers. While the movie presents a Hollywood take on the boiler room-style call centers, the overall approach they use to manipulate their victims isn't far from the truth. What happens in the first 15 minutes of the movie happens to real people on a regular basis. If the movie can educate the masses on how to spot a scam, that's a plus.

That said, director David Ayer doesn't linger long on setting up the plot. All of the major characters are quickly introduced, and we get to the mayhem.

One bit that really works, is how Statham makes the journey personal for his character. This isn't a cold super-soldier who is going through the motions. He's also not a polished secret agent in his prime. He's not doing this because he was ordered to do it. He's doing it because someone took advantage of his friend. That's it.

Playing opposite Statham is Jeremy Irons as the company executive trying to protect his family and fortune. Irons clearly had fun with the role, using his gravelly gravitas to steal the scene every time he entered the frame. If only every bad guy were this enjoyable.

Jemma Redgrave (Doctor Who fans will know her as Kate Lethbridge-Stewart) appears as an unwitting partner in crime with Irons. Redgrave's role is relatively small, but she still puts in a commanding performance.

Despite having a straightforward plot, "The Beekeeper" also managed to add an unexpected twist to the story. It absolutely worked in the context of the film, and it was refreshing to not have every single plot point telegraphed ahead of time.

"The Beekeeper" isn't likely to launch a franchise, but it delivers exactly what the trailer promises: action, guns, and fun. If you like what you see in the trailer, then you're not going to be disappointed in the final product. "The Beekeeper" is classic action escapism — nothing more, nothing less.

Score: 7.5/10

"The Beekeeper" is rated R and has a running time of 1 hour and 45 minutes. It is showing in standard theaters and in IMAX.

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