‘The Beekeeper’ Review – Jason Statham Is Hollywood’s Last Action Star
If we’re being honest with ourselves, nothing much has really changed with Jason Statham’s career over the last 20 years. He’s the guy who audiences pay money to see punch and kick people for roughly two hours. While Statham doesn’t have any new tricks up his bag, his work has remained consistent over the last several years.
Whether you like him or not, Statham is one of the few action stars we have left in Hollywood, having had a stretch of good movies such as Wrath and Man — a film that proves that as long Statham is still punching people in the face, audiences are willing to watch; as long as he is staying clear of franchises, that is.
This time around he rejoins Kurt Wimmer and David Ayer for The Beekeeper — a film produced by Miramax and distributed by MGM Amazon.
In this film, Statham plays Adam Clay — a former operative of a secret organization known as the Beekeepers. When his friend Eloise Parker, played by Phylicia Rashad, commits suicide after falling for a massive phishing scam, Clay sets out to get revenge on the company responsible.
Even after burning the said company to the ground, he’s not satisfied — Clay is determined to make sure that the people involved in this scam will never scam anyone else ever again.
The only way to make sure that doesn’t happen is to get the man financing the operation from the top: Derek Danforth, Played by The Hunger Games star Josh Hutcherson, Danforth becomes Clay’s ultimate target, as he is the person pulling the strings of the entire scam. As long as Statham is on his A-game, the film has a very hard time disappointing its audience.
The plot certainly isn’t anything new that we haven’t seen before. The set up here is that Statham’s character plays an operative from a secret government organization who takes care of the tough problems the government doesn’t want on their books.
The Beekeeper is a film that cuts all the fat out and goes straight into the meat of the story — properly establishing the relationship that Adam has with Eloise and doing an outstanding job at giving the audience a legitimate reason to hate the villains; a bunch of rich scammers who shamelessly target the weakest, poorest, and oldest among us all.
Because the bad guys are so villainous, every punch that Statham delivers in the film has a satisfying, almost therapeutic reaction to this audience. The biggest knock on this film, however, is the supporting cast.
As the villain of the film, Hutcherson plays a weird mix between Logan Paul and Hunter Biden; both completely unlikable and grimy as a character. However, other stars don’t really live up to their expectation.
Jeremy Irons is in the film as almost the former-CIA-father-figure to Hutcherson’s character. Outside of a couple of scenes, Irons really doesn’t have much of a presence in the movie. The film makes it seem as if his character was meant for a bigger role but just never came through.
Emmy Raver-Lampman plays an FBI agent in the film. However, you never truly buy her as the role she’s supposed to be playing; in some scenes, it feels like the film is coming to a screeching halt every time she appeared. Then you had Jemma Redgrave playing the President of the United States despite clearly having a British accent in the film. Minnie Driver is in the film for a couple of shots that she probably filmed on her lunch break, and the list goes on.
At the end of the day, The Beekeeper lives and dies with Jason Statham. Fortunately, he’s a good enough of a leading man to mask a lot of the flaws in the story. With that said, this is certainly not a bad film. Most audiences are only going to be looking for an over-the-top action film that they can enjoy, and there’s certainly enough good in this movie to be enjoyable.
When it’s all said and done, The Beekeeper is a fun movie and a great way to start off 2024.