By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

To Bee or Not To Bee: “The Beekeeper” (2024) Review

‘The Beekeeper’ debuted at no. 2 at the domestic box office, making $8.6M its opening weekend. (Photo courtesy Amazon MGM)

Imagine that one guy we all went to high school with, yeah, you know the one. The kid who wore ugly expensive suits every day, drove his daddy’s fancy car to school and knew a little too much about cryptocurrency. 

Now age that guy up, add 10 or so zeros behind whatever is in his bank account, give him a good enough scam and you have every single villain character in “The Beekeeper”. We all knew that guy would end up running telephone scams on the elderly anyway.

“The Beekeeper,” directed by David Ayer is a new action movie that was released on Jan. 12, 2024, starring Jason Statham and is arguably, one of the most entertaining action movies that I’ve watched. 

The movie follows Statham’s character Adam Clay, a man with seemingly no desire other than to tend to his honey bees and spend time with his neighbor, an older woman named Eloise, who rents him a space in her barn near the old farmhouse. In Clay’s words, she is the only person who has ever taken care of him.

When a phone scam comes, and tragedy strikes Eloise, Clay goes from being a somewhat gruff, quiet beekeeper to some sort of MMA fighter meets Navy seal meets death himself. In pursuit of revenge for his friend’s attack, this beekeeper decides that he is going all the way to the top, and he will do anything to avenge the hive.

“The Beekeeper” brings exactly what you would expect out of a grand-plan action movie: intense fight scenes, military-grade weaponry and plenty, plenty of carnage. There’s also no denying that the cinematography of “The Beekeeper” is absolutely incredible, and every scene of the movie hits you exactly where you need it to visually. From the opening sequence to the farm to the technicolor data-farming call centers, you can tell that a lot of work was put into making this film a captivating watching experience.

The downfall or perhaps the best part of the movie of course is the dialogue. Action movies are known for their cheesy, over-the-top one-liners. For main characters always having the perfect comeback, and the villains make clear fools of themselves. I would say that “The Beekeeper” really took that to a whole new level, in the way that I’m not entirely sure that the person they hired to write these lines has ever actually had a conversation with a real person in their life. I found myself having to hold in my laughter even in the most intense scenes, as the absurdity of these people was just getting to me. You know I never thought I’d laugh watching a guy get stapled repeatedly in the face, but here we are.

Part of me wants to blame some of this awkwardness on sub-par acting, and for pieces of it, you kind of can. The odd reaction time and out-of-place facial expressions were definitely noticeable and made the intense fight scenes and killing borderline, if not fully, comedic. 

While the odd dialogue and questionable reactions take away from a lot of the intensity of the movie, that really only made me enjoy it more. Even though the writing was awkward at times, the characterization and motives of every character were clear. An absolute unit of a main character–the typical action movie protagonist with a sprinkle of being out of his mind, and top-tier level douche-bag villains that are beyond satisfying to hate. Seriously, there’s an odd satisfaction that comes from watching a guy like Josh Hutcherson play the worst person you have ever met in your life.

Overall, I would say that “The Beekeeper” is a worthwhile watch, even if you’re not into action movies in any way. Overall, it uses the absurdness of its exaggerated genre to its advantage, creating a movie that’s visually captivating, and sure to make you choke on your popcorn at least once from laughing at something that you for sure shouldn’t be laughing at (I swear it isn’t just me, the other nine people in the theater were laughing too.) As long as you don’t go in looking for something serious, you’re likely to get a good kick out of this movie.

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