Reel Talk

The Beekeeper

REVIEWED BY Nimanthi Bandaranayake

In the dark underworld of online exploitation and fraud where white-collar crooks prey on innocent victims without consequence, director David Ayer and screenwriter Kurt Wimmer bring forth a vigilante thriller titled The Beekeeper.

The film dives into the depths of cyber-crime and vigilante justice. And it’s anchored by Jason Statham’s stoic performance as the enigmatic Adam Clay who is a former commando turned beekeeper.

This movie boasts a strong supporting cast with standout performances by David Witts as the charismatic boiler room leader, Josh Hutcherson as the sleazy vice president of a data mining company, Jeremy Irons as a cynical former CIA director and Taylor James as a brash mercenary.

“I protect the hive – when the system is out of balance I correct it.”

Adam Clay

They contribute to a fascinating rogue’s gallery.

The Beekeeper intriguingly leaves Adam’s past shrouded in mystery and enhances the character’s enigmatic aura. Statham, known for his physical prowess, delivers a performance that transcends mere action heroics. His matter-of-fact minimalism resonates particularly when he reflects on the importance of Eloise Parker (Phylicia Rashad) in his life and muses on societal structures using the metaphor of a beehive.

Clay embraces the peaceful life of a beekeeper in the rustic serenity of Eloise’s farmhouse and silently tends to his buzzing companions in the barn.

Our introduction to Eloise unfolds during a peculiar encounter between them as Adam is busy eliminating a hornet’s nest from her property. However, the method to his insect repelling efforts is far from conventional.

Forget the cyanide of an Agatha Christie tale… because Adam chooses to banish the hornets with the unconventional power of a crushed tube light. This intriguing moment not only establishes the unique dynamic between Adam and Eloise but also hints at the unorthodox twists that may lie ahead in their seemingly idyllic partnership.

Due to a phishing scam, Eloise loses her entire life savings and US$ 2 million, which was meant for a children’s charity. In despair, she takes her own life and leaves her FBI agent daughter Verona (Emmy Raver-Lampman) in shock.

While Verona grapples with the frustrating lack of evidence that hinders justice being served for Eloise, Clay takes matters into his own hands. Armed with two cans of petrol and an unwavering resolve, he storms the scammers’ call centre with vengeance on his mind.

As he dispenses righteous justice begin-ning with slimy Garnett (Witts), and making his way up to the disoriented and petulant big boss Derek (Hutcherson), Verona pursues the legal path alongside fellow agent Matt Wiley (Bobby Naderi).

These efforts receive the green light from their boss Deputy Director Prigg (Don Gilet) who grants them carte blanche to bring the culprits to justice.

Meanwhile, there are ferocious backroom negotiations where the incumbent CIA Director Janet Howard (Minnie Driver) is questioned by former director Wallace Westwyld (Irons) about the mysterious ‘Beekeepers’ group of agents and their unique abilities, noting that they seem to be above the law.

There are also clear signs that things are becoming difficult for US President Danforth (Jemma Redgrave).

As we watch Clay wreak havoc on the tech savvy predators, the film sparks reflection on the real world victims of online scams and a frustrating lack of justice. It delivers a visceral and satisfying vigilante fantasy, leaving audiences yearning for justice in a world that’s plagued by faceless online threats.


Kurt Wimmer

David Ayer

Jason Statham, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Josh Hutcherson, Bobby Naderi, Minnie Driver, Phylicia Rashad and Jeremy Irons

Living Rating

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