When it comes to bone-crunching action flicks, Jason Statham is the man. We know him best for high-octane franchises like The Fast and the Furious, Crank, and The Transporter. But this leading man’s latest romp, The Beekeeper, might just be his most absurd ride yet.
In this wacky revenge thriller, Statham plays Adam Clay, a tough-as-nails former operative who now lives a quiet life tending to his, well, bees. But when his sweet landlady, Eloise, falls victim to a ruthless phishing scam, Adam springs back into vigilante mode, hellbent on taking down the cyber crooks who robbed his friend.
What follows is an outrageously over-the-top game of cat-and-mouse, packed to the brim with zany bee puns (“time to smoke out the hornets!”), logic-defying plot twists, and enough intense action to leave your jaw on the floor. We’re talking full-throttle fistfights, guns-blazing shootouts, and Statham beating baddies senseless with unlikely weapons like a stapler and a honey jar. Subtle, it ain’t.
But that’s exactly why The Beekeeper looks like such a blast. Statham fully embraces the absurdity, scowling and quipping his way through the mayhem with deadpan conviction. And director David Ayer (Bright, Suicide Squad) cranks up the bombast, dousing every scene in moody amber hues and a heart-thumping score.
So if you’re down for some B-movie madness capped off with a hefty dose of stinging justice, pull on your beekeeping suit and get ready to join Statham on his wildest ride yet. Just don’t take things too seriously, or you might get stung.
Meet the Hive: A Sting Operation Gets Personal
At the center of all the chaos is Jason Statham’s Adam Clay, our ruthless stinger with a heart of gold. When we first meet Clay, he seems downright cuddly—a tough guy turned honey farmer, living a quiet life with his precious bee colonies. But in a killer opening montage, we learn this burly bloke has a buried past as a top-secret government operative.
Known only as “The Beekeepers,” Clay’s former unit acted as an elite strike force, stepping in to restore order when corrupt criminals slipped through the cracks of the justice system. Now on the straight and narrow, Clay rents a small cottage from kindhearted Eloise Parker (Phylicia Rashad), a retired teacher who runs a charity foundation.
But Clay’s tranquility turns tragic when a malicious phishing scheme targets sweet Eloise, draining her life savings and charity funds in one fell swoop. Heartbroken and bankrupt, she takes her own life. And just like that, the gentle beekeeper dies too—sending our hardened antihero into a fury.
Vowing to avenge his friend, Clay dusts off his covert skills to hunt the cyber scam artists and smoke them out of their hi-tech hive. But he’s not alone on the warpath. Grieving daughter Verona Parker (Emmy Raver-Lampman) now leads the FBI’s investigation. She butts heads with Clay, convinced the cagey bee man knows more than he lets on.
Through bone-crunching interrogations, Clay’s sting operation soon traces the fraud ring back to its queen bee—the bratty, Beamer-driving mastermind Derek Danforth (Josh Hutcherson.) Protected by his well-connected mommy dearest (Jemma Redgrave) and her battalion of special agents, this preppy tech bro thinks he’s above the law. But he’s never faced the venom of a beekeeper with nothing left to lose.
As Clay cuts a savage swath toward Derek, he tangles with an oddball cast of characters —from Danforth’s wily advisor Wallace Westwyld (Jeremy Irons) to Clay’s off-the-rails Beekeeper replacement “Anisette” (Megan Le). But our man has his eyes laser-focused on one target: protecting his beloved hive from these soulless hornets, no matter the cost. Game on, Derek. No amount of bodyguards can save you from this human stinger.
Bee Prepared for Some Serious Stinging
When it comes to hard-hitting action, few stars can rival Jason Statham’s bone-crunching brawls. And The Beekeeper unleashes the warrior within, pitting Statham against dozens of arrogant agents, ruthless mercenaries, and coked-out cyber crooks begging for a beatdown.
Just as you’d hope, the fight choreography goes for creative over complexity. Under the guidance of veteran stunt coordinator Jeremy Marinas (John Wick), the battles use everyday objects to raise the ouch factor. Office supplies, elevator cables, fire extinguishers—everything becomes a weapon in Statham’s calloused hands.
An early highlight sees Clay rampaging through a phishing call center, pummeling lowlife swindlers with keyboards, phones, and monitors like a blue-collar Avenger. Another satisfying showdown transforms a gas station into a full-throttle war zone, with Clay’s unhinged rival “Anisette” blasting bullets as our bee man unleashes fists of fury.
But the violence gets downright absurd once Clay storms the well-guarded mansion of preppy mastermind Derek Danforth. Facing down Derek’s personal army, Clay turns jars of honey, metal serving trays—even a billiards table—into bone-crunching implements of destruction. He’s a true MacGyver of mayhem, improvising stinging offense from sheer force of will.
And through it all, director David Ayer douses every frame in brooding style—moody lighting, rumbling score, a saturated amber hue symbolic of dripping honeycomb. It’s akin to Zack Snyder’s extreme aesthetic, trading realism for stylized ass-kicking.
While logic occasionally takes a back seat to show-stopping slaughter, Ayer’s in-your-face approach means two things are guaranteed: Jason Statham scowling like a human battering ram, and baddies receiving savage beatdowns. For fans craving some turn-off-your-brain action with a silly premise, The Beekeeper brings a steady supply of gnarly fisticuffs. Just don’t expect your brain cells—or the bad guys’ bones—to emerge unscathed.
A Stinger With Plenty of Buzz
With its zany premise and equally silly title, The Beekeeper makes its tongue-in-cheek tone clear from the get-go. This is Jason Statham like you’ve never seen him before—trading his usual grizzled snarl for deadpan conviction as he spouts bee puns galore. And god bless him, the guy commits 110% to selling every bit of nuttiness.
As Clay conducts his rampant sting operation, he warns targets they’re “about to get smoked out” and vows to “protect the hive” at all costs. It’s hero hogwash at its most absurd, but Statham’s steadfast sincerity makes it sing. Dude could read a honey-themed takeout menu and sound badass.
Likewise, director David Ayer piles on the ridiculous symbolism—dousing scenes in honey-inspired amber hues, blasting buzzing sound effects, splicing in extreme close-ups of bees. It’d be silly even without the apiary premise. Together, it achieves almost psychedelic levels of delirium.
And bee nonsense aside, the script supplies plenty of cheeky zingers to keep tongues firmly in cheeks. After taking down an army of special agents, Clay deadpans, “You sound young. I bet you don’t have estate planning.” During an elevator brawl, he barks, “Let me give you some pro tips!” It’s hard not to crack up.
The supporting cast follows Statham’s bold lead, embracing the heightened hilarity. Wall Street bro turned Cyber scammer Derek Danforth is a petty tyrant of the highest order—scowling, snorting coke, and zipping around his office on a motorized skateboard like a big-kid bully. Meanwhile, his hoity-toity adviser Jeremy Irons chews the plush carpeting as jaded babysitter to this petulant man-child criminal.
So while The Beekeeper takes its vigilante storyline seriously, it thankfully doesn’t take itself too seriously. This is B-movie gold in its purest form—weird, wild, and totally unconcerned with realism. Sit back, suspend your disbelief, and let the outrageousness wash over you in waves of wackiness. Just beware of the stingers.
Where The Beekeeper Stings Itself
For all its goofy appeal, The Beekeeper isn’t without some narrative honey traps. As Clay conducts his rampage, logical lapses and undercooked characters periodically poke holes in the frenzied fun.
One early plot point strains credibility to the max. When sweet-natured landlady Eloise falls prey to Derek’s fraud ring, she instantly commits suicide after losing her savings—no calls for help, no pleas to delay the bank. It’s emotional manipulation at its most shallow, denying Phylicia Rashad any chance to portray trauma and denying Clay any meaningful connection.
This leads to the film’s most lackluster subplot—Eloise’s by-the-book FBI agent daughter, Verona. She and Clay butt heads on occasion, but Emmy Raver-Lampman struggles to convincingly convey Verona’s inner turmoil. We’re told she feels guilty for neglecting her mother, yet we never see evidence on-screen.
Several skillful stars also feel squandered. As Derek’s overseer Wallace Westwyld, Oscar-winner Jeremy Irons brings sinister gravitas, yet barely registers. Likewise, Minnie Driver cameos as a CIA honcho but mostly stays on telephone standby. With rockstars like these at his disposal, keeping them sidelined feels borderline criminal for director David Ayer.
Worst of all is Josh Hutcherson’s grossly miscast Derek, unable to translate his trademark charm into anything resembling menace. The baby-faced Hunger Games star looks downright laughable among Statham’s weathered war dogs.
Occasionally these flaws sting with sincerity rather than humor. But during the film’s strongest and silliest moments, logic lapses fade into the background. When Jason Statham is battering cyber punks while unleashing scornful bee puns, it’s best to just sit back, switch off your cynicism, and savor the absurdity.
A Sweet Sting For Statham Diehards
At its best, The Beekeeper recalls the golden age of 90s action bonanzas—simple storyline, over-the-top execution, leading man front and center. This is vintage Jason Statham cradling the film on his bulging biceps and willing goofiness into greatness through sheer magnetism. Fan of his focused ferocity? You’re sure to dig all the bee-buzzing mayhem.
That said, Statham can only carry so much dead weight. Whenever the plot dives into undercooked drama and thinly sketched motivations, the silly magic dissipates. David Ayer clearly invested more care cultivating fight choreography and amber-tinted style than emotional substance or acting range.
So rather than contemplating any profound themes about vigilante justice or online fraudsters preying on the vulnerable, it’s best to simply marvel at the ludicrous lengths the film goes seeking revenge over a beekeeping BFF. Enjoy it as the genre throwback it is—projecting specificity might lead to frustration when things veer predictable.
As for franchising potential, while one sequel centered on Statham’s feral replacement Anisette holds B-movie promise, attempts at an earnest shared Beekeeper universe would likely collapse under sheer silliness. There’s enough buzzing madness here for a double feature, but best leave things on a sweet note before joke runs dry.
In closing, if you pine for yesteryear’s lean, mean action vehicles or crave watching Jason Statham scowl his way through bee-related banter, The Beekeeper should leave you smiling. It captures absurdity better than nuance, favoring fun over plausibility. But for the target crowd of adrenaline junkies seeking some logic-free, fist-forward escapism, this goofy genre entry brings home the honey.
With its absurd premise balanced by Jason Statham's straight-faced conviction, The Beekeeper makes no qualms about leaning into sheer silliness. Director David Ayer soaks every frame in stylistic excess, while Statham sells the bonkers bee puns and fight scenes with gruff appeal. If you pine for old-school action throwbacks fueled on frenetic energy rather than taut storytelling, this goofy genre romp should give you a buzz. Just don't expect emotional depth beyond surface-level stinging.
- Jason Statham's committed and magnetic performance
- Creative and well-choreographed action sequences
- Stylish visual direction by David Ayer
- Absurdist tone and humor balanced with straight-faced acting
- Entertaining villain performances by Josh Hutcherson and Jeremy Irons
- Plot holes and lapses in logic
- Underdeveloped relationships and subplots
- Some weak supporting performances
- Overly familiar story and genre tropes