With “The Beekeeper,” Jason Statham continues to be the reigning king of action movies and is likely to deliver the first hit of 2024.
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When we meet Adam Clay, he is retired, just enjoying his bees, which he keeps on the estate of Ms. Eloise Parker. But, with Ms. Parker being conned out of millions, her own money, and that she uses for a charity, she is overwhelmed to the point of killing herself.
Adam, who hasn’t been treated as well by anyone in his life, can’t simply mourn Eloise like her daughter Verona. He wants justice. The problem is, Adam’s form of justice is absolute and doesn’t operate through the legal system like Verona’s, who works for the FBI.
Thus leading to Adam tearing through the network that conned Ms. Parker and forcing Verona to decide whether, as an FBI agent, she will turn a blind eye to the man who is getting revenge for her mom or stop him since it is clear his rampage will make it so her mother won’t be the only person who will have to get buried.
- Dialog: Discriminatory Language (Handful of Scenes), Cursing (Throughout)
- Violence: Amputation/Dismemberment, Blood, Weapon Violence (Type: Gun and Knife), Torture, Self-Harm
- Sexual Content: None
- Miscellaneous: Drinking, Drug Use (Type: Smoking, Powdered Substance)
Based On Work By
January 12, 2024
How To Watch
1 Hour 45 Minutes
Noted Characters and Cast
Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.
Adam Clay (Jason Statham)
Adam Clay was a beekeeper, partly in a literal sense, for an undisclosed amount of years, decades even. It isn’t clear why he was part of the organization, but he is a notable, now former member who wanted to spend his retirement years in peace. However, with one of the first people in years to be kind to him getting scammed and it being so bad they killed themselves, he is right back in action.
- The actor is also known for their role in “Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre.”
Eloise Parker (Phylicia Rashad)
A former teacher who now runs a non-profit dedicated to helping those in the Boston/Springfield, Massachusetts area with their education, Eloise was beloved. But, like many, she wasn’t the most tech-savvy, and because of that, the events that triggered Adam’s quest happened.
- The actor is also known for their role in “Creed III.”
Verona Parker (Emmy Raver-Lampman)
Verona is Eloise’s daughter, who doesn’t visit as often as she should, potentially because she feels second to her brother in the military. Nonetheless, she loved her mother, and like Adam, she got a bug in her behind to bring the people who pushed her mom too far to justice.
- The actor is also known for their role in “The Umbrella Academy.”
Derek (Josh Hutcherson)
The President’s only child, Derek, is a whizz kid when it comes to technology, but he is also a horrible person who has no issue scamming the elderly for approximately $180 million a month.
- The actor is also known for their role in “Escobar: Paradise Lost“
Wallace (Jeremy Irons)
The former CIA director, now head of Derek’s legal team and a fixer of sorts, Wallace’s love for President Danforth is what pushes him to help and tolerate Derek.
- The actor is also known for their role in “Red Sparrow.”
President Danforth (Jemma Redgrave)
Thanks to her former husband’s company, President Danforth could afford to self-finance her campaign for President. But whether or not she intentionally used, or even set up, the system Derek has exploited is worth questioning. Never mind if she truly wants to be a public servant or take advantage of all the insider information the President gets to know.
Our Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)
Notable Performances or Moments
Let me begin by recognizing Jason Statham. While he is a man of few words and doesn’t really portray much, if any, emotions beyond anger or frustration, there is no denying that when his focus is purely on action, there might be no one better consistently working right now.
Though, with “The Beekeeper,” I’d say, even with his usual monotone voice, because of it being Phylicia Rashad, an American treasure, who he is getting vengeance for, when he says his work is personal, it feels that way. The moves, while likely choreographed and scenes shared between him and his double Tom Connelly, feel quick and violent because this isn’t about being calculated and always keeping minimal casualties.
No, you get one warning, and if you stay in his vicinity, maybe even raise your arm the wrong way, at best, you are getting knocked out, and at worst, you’re dead.
The Question of Good and Evil
Because of who is associated with Derek, including his mother the President, there is a question of who is good, lives in the gray, or is evil? It doesn’t feel intentional to question this but consider who Wallace, the legal handler for the President’s former company, is and what he is willing to do for the President. You are constantly left questioning how deep any character involved is.
Heck, even in terms of Verona and the rest of the FBI? It isn’t like a film like this isn’t ripe for having a lot of government corruption, so the potential of her being involved, her partner, anyone really, is possible and makes it so every time Adam and Verona share a scene, you wonder if she may shoot to cover up what she may know, or what she did.
You’ll love to hate Derek and nearly everyone who works for him. They are tech bros without a moral compass, and there is no effort to make them redeemable. So when Adam approaches them, it is hard not to get giddy about what he’ll do, even if you have never suffered like Eloise or Verona did.
Whipping Ass & Taking Names
With such a strong emotion behind Adam’s actions, again, it makes each scene potentially seeming sped up, and how the camera moves, not feel like action movie trickery but like a man who is in a blind rage as soon as his adrenaline kicks in. Which leads to your usual punches and kicks, but then when weapons get involved?
But, the top fight scenes are when it is close-quarters combat, like Adam’s final fight when it is him and one of the people hired to protect Derek, and they are in a long hallway where the two can barely stand shoulder to shoulder. That back and forth, Adam no longer getting to be the Rambo type, with only a bit of blood on his face, but still in a fresh suit? To me, that was the scene that made it clear Statham deserved praise.
I’d even add one thing I don’t think gets praised, or maybe seen enough, is a tense action sequence. The genre, like its often disrespected cousin in horror, has unfortunately become flashy over the years, and in the process, it has lost its ability to become tense. “The Beekeeper” certainly doesn’t have that issue and you’ll be glad about that.
On The Fence
The Beekeeper Organization Remains Mostly In The Shadows
For better or worse, the organization Adam worked for plays a minor role in the film. On one hand, this is a good thing, because there is no push for them to be featured or part of a sequel. Also, how could it be a secret organization if enough people talk about it for you to know every detail?
Yet, them tapping out involvement early on also leads you to question so much about the team’s would-be lore. Be it how they recruit, train, past corrections to the hive they were a part of, or even just Adam on his own.
But maybe it is best they don’t dive too deep since it is fairly easy for film to become bloated these days.
Good If You Like
- Beat Them Up Action Movies
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The Beekeeper (2024) – Review
Between notable action sequences, many characters who appear morally grey, to the only real issue being you having questions about what is a secret organization, “The Beekeeper” is a reminder that January has long stopped being a dumping ground for movies and can produce potentially major hits.
Hatable Villains - 84%
Whipping Ass & Taking Names - 83%
The Question of Good and Evil - 87%
The Beekeeper Organization Remains Mostly In The Shadows - 78%
Jason Statham - 85%
- Whipping Ass & Taking Names
- Hatable Villains
- The Question of Good and Evil
- Jason Statham
- The Beekeeper Organization Remains Mostly In The Shadows