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Today’s Prayer Focus
MOVIE REVIEW

The Beekeeper

also known as “A méhész,” “Beekeeper - Rede de Vingança,” “Beekeeper: El protector,” “Beekeeper: Sentencia De Muerte,” See more »
MPA Rating: R-Rating (MPA) for strong violence throughout, pervasive language, some sexual references and drug use.

Reviewed by: Mike Klamecki
CONTRIBUTOR

Moral Rating: Very Offensive to Extremely Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: Adults
Genre: Crime Action Thriller IMAX
Length: 1 hr. 45 min.
Year of Release: 2024
USA Release: January 12, 2024 (wide release)
Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), owned by Amazon® through MGM Holdings, Inc.click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), owned by Amazon® through MGM Holdings, Inc. Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), owned by Amazon® through MGM Holdings, Inc.
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), owned by Amazon® through MGM Holdings, Inc.

Heartless scammers who steal vulnerable people’s life savings

Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), owned by Amazon® through MGM Holdings, Inc.

Criminal activity aimed at the elderly

What does Scripture say about Stealing? and theft?

What is LYING? What are the truly BIG lies of our world?

Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), owned by Amazon® through MGM Holdings, Inc.

About the fall of mankind to worldwide depravity

What is SIN AND WICKEDNESS? Answer

Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), owned by Amazon® through MGM Holdings, Inc.

Exposing corruption and fighting it

Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), owned by Amazon® through MGM Holdings, Inc.

Extreme violence depicted in feature films

FILM VIOLENCE—How does viewing violence in movies affect families? Answer

SUICIDE—What does the Bible say? Answer

Bees and honey in the Bible

Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), owned by Amazon® through MGM Holdings, Inc.
Featuring Jason StathamAdam Clay
Emmy Raver-LampmanAgent Verona Parker
Bobby NaderiAgent Matt Wiley
Josh HutchersonDerek Danforth
Jeremy IronsWallace Westwyld
David WittsMickey Garnett
Michael EppPettis
Taylor JamesLazarus
Phylicia RashadEloise Parker
Jemma RedgravePresident Danforth
Minnie DriverDirector Janet Harward
See all »
Director David Ayer
Producer Cedar Park Entertainment
Miramax
See all »
Distributor Distributor: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). Trademark logo.Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), owned by Amazon® through MGM Holdings, Inc.

“Expose the corruption. Protect the hive.”

Do you remember when you saw your first John Wick movie? Since you are reading this review, I’m betting that there is a good chance you saw at least one. Think back… how did you feel after seeing it? Your answer will determine your willingness to go and enjoy Jason Statham in “The Beekeeper.” You will see, like I did, some definite parallels between “The Beekeeper” and the John Wick franchise.

“The Beekeeper” is directed by David Ayer (“End of Watch,” “Fury” and who also wrote “Training Day”) so you can expect lots of gunplay, creative violence, and strong language. Also, like “John Wick,” we have a possible new franchise based on an aging action star (Jason Statham is 56 to Keanu Reeves’ 57 per “John Wick: Chapter 4”) who is an expert in weapons, fighting, and dodging bullets. Throw in some lore of secret societies and agencies and you have the makings of another successful Hollywood franchise.

Jason Statham has always been a solid go-to guy for any kind of action movie with his rugged good looks, physical prowess, ability to make light of himself, and quick martial arts moves. For what this movie delivers, Mr. Statham does not disappoint. Like Keanu Reeves, Mr. Statham seems ageless and eternally capable of throwing a punch, taking a hit, and running straight into the line of fire.

What makes this film somewhat different is that, unlike the John Wick films, it’s set much closer to real life situations and organizations that echo modern day headlines about our county’s government. An added twist is that the type of bad guys in “The Beekeeper” are vehemently and universally hated by pretty much everyone on the planet.

Adam Clay (Jason Statham) is a mysterious figure in the beginning of “The Beekeeper” who, sure enough, tends to beehives as a hobby in order to make honey. It seems he takes this task extremely seriously. All we know is that he has been staying with an older woman named Eloise (Phylicia Rashad a.k.a. Clair Huxtable), and he is about to move on to the next stage of his life with his bees when she unwillingly falls prey to a computer scam that wipes away all of her savings plus $2 million dollars in a children’s charity she is charged with.

We feel for her as we have known people who have had these kind of tragedies happen in real life. We see the unfolding of this scam from the computer center of United Data Group (UDG) led by a young, weaselly Micky (David Witts) as he teaches a room full of data hackers how to rip off older adults.

This results in Eloise tragically taking her life just a little before Clay returns to give her a big jar of honey for helping him out. He is shocked to find her dead and looks in her computer’s history and sees the financial damage done by UDG. Unfortunately, his timing is bad, because FBI Agent Veronica Parker (Emmy Raver-Lampman) appears at the scene. Agent Parker happens to be Eloise’s daughter, and Clay gets arrested temporarily before being let go.

This sets Clay loose to literally walk in and burn down UDG, which in turn pits him against Agent Parker, the FBI, and Derek Danforth (Josh Hutcherson) who is the spoiled, corrupt boss of Nine Star United, the larger umbrella corporation of financial scammers. Nine Star United is under an even larger, more dangerous entity that is revealed later in the film. We see how Clay hardly ever punishes those who are not the target (as he lets all the scummy data hackers escape) but is focused on the main villains… and there are many main villains to punish in “The Beekeeper.”

Agent Parker finds out that Clay is part of a shadowy sub-set in the nation’s military agencies, called Beekeepers, that is so secretive not even the FBI knows about them (although the CIA seems to have created their ranks). The job of the Beekeepers is to stay activated until death and to bring order within the government by hunting and killing anomalies that may harm the structure of power. This is known as “keeping the hive safe.” These beekeepers are loners who are deadlier than any other specialized soldier-group the country has, including Army Rangers, Delta Force and Navy Seals. Clay seems to be one of the best and one with the biggest conscience.

Agent Parker, in researching bee facts, runs across the different jobs of certain bees focusing on the “queenkiller” who will hunt down and kill the queen bee if she hasn’t fulfilled her role of laying a certain number of eggs or laying healthy eggs. She equates Clay with being a queenkiller as he violently works his way up the ranks to discover why the government is tied with companies that swindle money from the elderly and ignorant.

Clay find that each place or person he destroys leads to another money-hungry higher-up with a greater capacity for evil doing. As he buzzes through mercenaries, agents, and thugs he sees how far up the ladder all the millions of dollars in cyber-stolen money goes and what the cost is for untamed ambition for the few most powerful people in the country.

We are introduced to some real sleezeballs in this trek and almost all the fatalities are meant to be very satisfying, violent, and often creative. As the movie unfolds, it’s interesting to see how many “trusted” agencies are involved, and I won’t spoil the extent of the corruption, but suffice it to say there are definite parallels that won’t be hard to miss that mirror our modern day political personalities.

Just like my review of “Dumb Money,” I call upon the “Goodfellas Rule” where if it gets past 50 F-bombs you can stop counting the curse words. You know if you are going to have the tolerance or not based on that standard. There are a handful of Sh**’s, A**H***’s, and B***’s.

There is no nudity but PLENTY of visceral violence including shootings, stabbings, dismemberments, brutal fighting, hanging, and hacking/chopping off body parts (plus a scene with a stapler). There is also the dispatching of one of the main bad guys in one of the most creative ways I’ve seen involving a pick up truck, a ratchet strap, and a draw bridge. Clay rarely uses a gun, so the violence is less “video-gamey” than John Wick, but it is very excessive if you are not used to that kind of action.

I can’t tell you how happy people in the audience were seeing some of these money-stealing scumbags get their just desserts, and I think it’s because we are all frustrated when we see the extent of the heartlessness in some people when money is involved.

When Paul tells Timothy

“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have wandered from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” —1 Timothy 6:10

…we see in “The Beekeeper” how true that is. Not only is the love of money the motivation for all of these villains in this movie, but we know the love of money has been corrupting our country/world for a long time. Even though the love of money eventually will pierce those who chase after it with many sorrows, it’s hard to see the corruption go unpunished so many times. But we can trust that Proverbs 11:21 will come to pass when Jesus returns,

“Evil people will surely be punished, but the children of the godly will go free.”

I was a fan of “The Beekeeper” for it’s well shot compositions, it’s action framing that didn’t descend to shaky-cam territory, the actors who did well with what the script had to offer, and the creative ideas that may branch into other Beekeeper sequels. I really liked how Clay’s plan was simple and pointed directly at one of the most hated practices in our modern age which is driven by greed and the love of money.

Many of us have seen the destruction these scams leave behind in innocent people’s lives. Yes, these kind of films are cheaply cathartic and simplistic… but if that’s what you’re into, you will probably appreciate the buzz “The Beekeeper” leaves in your brain when the credits roll.

  • Violence: Extreme
  • Vulgar/Crude language: Extreme
  • Drugs/Alcohol: Moderate
  • Profane language: Minor
  • Nudity: None
  • Sex: None
  • Occult: None
  • Wokeism: None

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


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