Friday, January 12, 2024

'The Beekeeper' has some sting

 The Beekeeper is one of those movies that hardly needs reviewing. If you don't know who Jason Statham is, you probably aren't interested in his latest hunk of kick-ass entertainment. If you do know Statham (Expend4bles, Fast X) you probably have a good idea about The Beekeeper before you see it. 
   This time, Statham portrays Adam Clay, a lover of bees. But Adam's role as an apiarist proves secondary to his commitment to dispensing justice. 
   The Beekeepers, you see, are a no-holds-barred group of agents that's so secret even the head of the CIA may not  know about them. When all else fails, The Beekeepers -- well-trained killing machines -- are called in to clean up the mess. 
   Director David Ayer (Suicide Squad, Fury) works around a slender plot in which Adam, a retired Beekeeper, sets out to avenge a wrong committed by a heartless creep (Josh Hutcherson) who owns call centers dedicated to scamming  the elderly out of their savings. 
  Hutcherson's Derek Danforth makes the mistake of stealing from Eloise Parker (Phylicia Rashad), Adam's kindly landlord. Distraught about her loss, she commits suicide. Adam's onslaught begins.
   An unashamedly ridiculous plot finds Eloise's daughter (Emmy Raver-Lampman), an FBI agent, searching for  Adam as a variety of others join her in pursuit.
   Jeremy Irons plays a former head of the CIA who has been hired to protect the callous Derek from himself and others. 
  None of this much matters; Statham's unrelieved determination and the creativity Ayer brings to the movie's violent encounters count far more than common sense. 
  For about three-quarters of its one hour and 45 minute running time, The Beekeeper serves up the right amount of sting but the trouble with such movies is that they tend to wear out their welcome. They make their points early and often.
  Oh well, it's January. The Beekeeper may lack the aplomb of a John Wick movie, but it's a well-stuffed filler for fans who like their movie violence served with over-the-top relish.

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