EntertainmentJason Statham's 'The Beekeeper': a buzzing roller coaster ride against capitalism and corruption

Jason Statham's 'The Beekeeper': a buzzing roller coaster ride against capitalism and corruption

Jason Statham is a beekeeper in the new movie.
Jason Statham is a beekeeper in the new movie.
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11:14 AM EST, January 11, 2024

Seasoned movie enthusiasts may relate the term "beekeeper" to a particular film - a profound metaphysical drama by Theo Angelopoulos featuring Marcello Mastroianni as the lead. Ingmar Bergman was captivated by it and hailed it as a "masterpiece".

If Bergman were alive today and watched David Ayer's "The Beekeeper", which premiered recently, he probably wouldn't express the same opinion. Instead of slow-paced storytelling, he would find a tale propelling forward. Rather than observing a stoic Italian, he would witness a resilient, reticent Englishman whose abilities far exceed mere beekeeping.

Conversely, not everyone seeks purely artistic cinema; perhaps even Bergman would find amusement in Jason Statham's "The Beekeeper". It's the type of movie you can describe as "so bad it's good". Full of expertly executed violent scenes, it reminds us why we flock to the cinema to watch films featuring the British star.

Statham's biggest strengths have always been his charisma and stoicism, which often contradicts the on-screen action. This contrast enables viewers to laugh out loud at an absurd sequence during one scene and feel the rush of adrenaline in the next, thanks to Statham’s action-packed performances. Unfortunately, recent Hollywood films like "Meg 2: The Deep" or the "Fast & Furious" series seem to dilute Statham’s on-screen power. There's a quiet longing for the actor to reclaim roles similar to those from his "Transporter" or "Mechanic" days.

See: trailer for the movie "Beekeeper"

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THE BEEKEEPER | Official Restricted Trailer

Ultimately, Statham becomes a beekeeper, but this role is brief in the film. When a close friend dies by suicide after being tricked by an online company linked to a powerful criminal organization, our hero seeks revenge. His initial retaliation is impressive, as he storms a call center armed with gasoline canisters, overpowers a few security guards, and causes a massive explosion. And that's just the start!

"The Beekeeper" joyfully brings back the classic Statham style that fans adore. Although the plot might not make sense, this is immaterial when the film offers a roller coaster ride of a lone man declaring war on capitalism and corruption.

Beyond the action-packed scenes (every one of Statham's fights is pure kinetic poetry), the creators of "The Beekeeper" skillfully spin the apparent silliness of the script to their advantage. The rigid dialogues provoke both cringes and chuckles, while the recurrent bee-swarm metaphor, employed to illustrate the state's operational system, is genuinely amusing.

We also learn comically that bees eliminate and replace a defective queen bee. There's no need to explain Statham's role within this context. Additionally, the film cleverly exploits the word "bee" for various wordplay (like "To bee or not to bee", "So bee it"). Playing one of the villains, Jeremy Irons seems to have had fun on set. Despite the script's absurdity, Irons somehow slips through the comedic cracks thanks to his dignified voice delivery.

Indeed, "The Beekeeper" ticks most of the genre cliché boxes, but it does so quite confidently. It's fun to watch scenes like Statham's character smashing a honey jar against an assassin's head and then setting her ablaze. Hollywood could undoubtedly benefit from producing more extravagant B-class films of this sort.

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