Summary: One man’s brutal campaign for vengeance takes on national stakes after he is revealed to be a former operative of a powerful and clandestine organization known as “Beekeepers”.

Year: 2024

Cinema Release Dates:  11th January 2024 (Australia), 11th January 2024 (Thailand), 12th January 2024 (UK), 12th January 2024 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA (Australia), TBA (Thailand), TBA (UK), TBA (USA)

Country: USA, UK

Director: David Ayer

Screenwriter: Kurt Wimmer

Cast: Kojo Attah (Second-in-charge Harris), Peter Brooke (Lewis), Millen Brown (Scammer #2 – Paulie), Enzo Cilenti (Rico Anzalone), Reza Diako (Scammer #3 – Barry), Minnie Driver (Director Janet Harward)l Michael Epp (Pettis), Sophia Feliciano (Kelly Krane), Don Gilet (Deputy Director Prigg), Jessica Maria Gilhooley (Rosalia), Georgia Goodman (Detective Marquez), Martin Gordon (Peltz), Rebecca Jane Hazlewood (Debbie), Josh Hutcherson (Derek Danforth), Jeremy Irons (Wallace Westwyld), Taylor James (Lazarus), Bobby Naderi (Agent Matt Wiley), Arian Nik (Scammer #1 – Tommy), Baba Oyejide (Detective Lewis), Phylicia Rashad (Eloise Parker), Emmy Raver-Lampman (Agent Verona Parker), Megan Le (Anisette), Dan Li (Agent Kim), Kojo Quainoo (Mike), Jemma Redgrave (President Danworth), Jay Rincon (AIC Borjorquez), Derek Siow (Detective Chen), Jason Statham (Adam Clay), Joe Urquhart (Breedlow), David Witts (Mickey Garnett)

Running Time: 105 minutes

Classification: MA15+ (Australia), 18 (Thailand), 15 (UK), R (USA)


David Griffiths’s The Beekeeper Review

When you think of classic action heroes from over the years names like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone quickly spring to mind, but given what he has achieved over the past decade you have to wonder whether or not it is time to add Jason Statham’s name that elite list.

Over the years Statham has been given roles in some of the biggest franchises Hollywood has to offer – The Fast & The Furious and The Expendables to name a couple – while other franchises – The Meg, Transporter, The Mechanic and Crank – have been built around him. Now he returns to the big screen again in a film that seems to be begging to be made into another Statham-led franchise The Beekeeper.

This time around he teams up with the often under-rated director David Ayer (Fury)and gifted blockbuster screenwriter Kurt Wimmer (Total Recall) to create a film that at times feels like a mix between The Bourne Identity and Batman Begins. Yes there is something so mysterious about Statham’s latest character here that a reference to The Caped Crusader seems to be the only thing to truly do it justice.

See in The Beekeeper Statham plays Adam Clay a character with so many secrets there is no way that anybody who watches this film won’t come out of the cinema asking more questions than they have had answered. The film opens with Clay living a simple life as a beekeeper on a beautiful property owned by the retired Eloise Parker (Phylicia Rashad – Creed).

However, things take a dark turn when Eloise falls into a trap set up an online scammer and finds all of her bank accounts, plus $2.5 million from a charity she runs, fleeced. Unable to live with what she has done Eloise kills herself which soon sees Adam’s path cross with her FBI Agent daughter, Verona Parker (Emmy Raver-Lampman – Blacklight), who originally blames Adam for her mother’s death.

Once that little misunderstanding is cleared up though a new secret about Adam is revealed. He is a retired member of a secret CIA division known as The Beekeepers whose only role are to protect what they call The Hive. Driven by anger against an unfair system Adam declares war on the operation and business run by the naïve Derek Danforth (Josh Hutcherson – The Hunger Games) who despite not being the most intelligent of operators has people in powerful positions protecting him including the former CIA Chief Wallace Westwyld (Jeremy Irons – The Lion King) protecting him.

When it comes to action sequences The Beekeeper is at the top of its game. Adam Clay’s method of dispatching enemies is as creative as anything you would have seen in the classic Olympus Has Fallen but when it comes to the plot there are some pretty major holes that will leave audiences a little disappointed.

First of all there are far too many questions about the character of Adam. Whether or not that is a deliberate ploy by screenwriter Kurt Wimmer so that their can be more character reveals should this turn into a franchise or just some lazy writing it is a little frustrating. Most audience members will want to know more about this Beekeeper CIA program and would expect for things such as Clay saying that Eloise “was the first person to ever care for him” to be explained a little more.

The second major hole in the story revolves around the character of Verona. At first she seems excited by the fact that Adam is hunting down the people responsible for her mother’s death. But then as he gets higher up the chain of command she suddenly seems to be working with her Agent Matt Wiley (Bobby Naderi – Bright) and her boss (Don Gilet – Doctor Who) to have Adam brought to justice. Given the body count and damage that Adam is causing on his mission Verona having a question of morality on her behalf is understandable but there could have been better ways to explore such an emotional event.

Still there are some parts of the screenplay that work exceptional well. The role that Adam sees that he has life being compared to the inner workings of a bee’s natural cycle is creative and entertaining while some of the twists that reveal themselves around the Danforth family are a true stroke of genius by Wimmer and shows what he truly thinks about today’s politics.

The Beekeeper does have a few plot holes but if you are willing to overlook them you will find yourself in the middle of a blistering paced action film that once again consists of some David Ayer magic when it comes to fight sequences. Just be prepared for some frustrations around one of the more interesting (and broody) characters that Statham has played to date.

David’s rating Out Of 5

Alex First’s The Beekeeper Review

A wild ride. Ultraviolent, over the top nonsense, but – dare I admit it – also a guilty pleasure.

Some of the dialogue is horrendous. The scene that sets in train the plot is wooden in the extreme.

Plausibility is never in question because it simply doesn’t exist.

And yet the choreographed action, with one man taking on the FBI, Secret Service and more and leaving them impotent, is mighty impressive.

That man is Adam Clay (Jason Statham), who is a most diligent beekeeper.

He is also a retired operative for a shadowy, off the books organisation that operates outside the law.

People like him are known as beekeepers because their job is to keep the hive of government functioning and the nation safe.

Clay now leads a quiet life tending to his honeybees. He occupies the barn of an isolated property owned by ageing Eloise Parker (Phylicia Rashad).

She is the director of a charity with no knowledge of IT security. When her computer is hacked, she falls prey to a ruthless scam involving data skimming, which rids the charity of its money and her of her life’s savings.

Her downfall brings into play her distanced FBI agent daughter Verona (Emma Raver-Lampman) and fellow agent Matt Wiley (Bobby Naderi).

But they are always one step behind Clay, who comes out of retirement to exact revenge on those that fleeced Eloise Parker.

That involves blowing up a call centre that targets the elderly and working his way up the food chain to cut off the head of the snake.

Among those standing in his way are former CIA director Wallace Westwyld (Jeremy Irons) and a 28-year-old bad boy, Derek Danforth (Josh Hutcherson).

There is also a further twist in store late in the piece.

Still, you can’t say Clay is anything but driven.

The script is by Kurt Wimmer (Point Break), with direction from David Ayer (Suicide Squad).

One tone Jason Statham hardly sets the world on the fire in the acting stakes, but he sure can kick butt.

Emma Raver-Lampman displays get up and go as the FBI agent with skin in the game.

There is also some droll humour involved in Verona’s interplay with her partner, which Bobby Naderi handles well.

Josh Hutcherson isn’t stretched in playing an arrogant, entitled prat. His role is to repel the audience from his first frame, which he manages to do readily.

And there is elegance about Jeremy Irons as the ex-CIA chief caught out of his depth.

I appreciated Gabriel Beristain’s (Black Widow) evocative cinematography, whether that be the solitude of beekeeping or the mayhem that ensues. The Beekeeper is undoubtedly a good looker. While I cringed at much of the scripting, I still found myself strangely invested in the journey. So, that leaves the movie as a showy mixed bag.

Alex’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture rating Out Of 5

Other The Beekeeper Reviews

You can read our review of The Beekeeper that appeared in The Phuket News right here – https://www.thephuketnews.com/jason-statham-keeps-action-alive-in-the-beekeeper-90914.php