Movie Review: The Beekeeper (Ayer, 2024)

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Movie: The Beekeeper

Production Companies: Miramax, Cedar Park, Punch Palace Productions

Director: David Ayer
Producers: Bill Block, Jason Statham, David Ayer, Chris Long, Kurt Wimmer

Scriptwriter: Kurt Wimmer

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

Release Date: January 12th 2024

Running Time: 105 minutes

Certificate: 15


Well, for a blatant John Wick ripoff that unbeelievably lacked a lot of sting… Prepare for the swarm of Bee puns because you won’t beelieve how perfectly alright the Beekeeper is. Oh, also when Josh Hutcherson said he’d spent months playing Fortnite instead of watching films it shows. Mostly as his performance feels uninspired and lazy. But that’s for later as I delve into the hive and dissect a collaboration between Statham and David Ayer. I’ve genuinely got so used to Statham and Ritchie that this caught me off guard…. So, without further ado here is my review of the film.


The Beekeeper follows retired Beekeeper, and full time Bee enthusiast, Adam Clay as he lives peacefully on a lovely old woman’s farmhouse property. However, when she is tricked into a scam and takes her life, Clay does the only thing he knows how to do. No not report it to the police. Instead he goes on a bloody vigilante rampage thus becoming an active Beekeeper once more. Oh, for reference the Beekeepers are a secret assassin organisation. Anyway, this revenge spree sees him go from the bottom to the top as he hunts down the man he holds responsible: Derek Danforth (Hutcherson) the son of the US President. 


The Beekeeper’s Cinematography

So as I mentioned above, this is a fairly shameless ripoff of John Wick, down to the retired hitman being brought out of retirement when his life/others lives are threatened and how the main character is an unstoppable killing machine. Now, if I compare the fight scenes The Beekeepers seem to have been shot by a cameraman who is desperately allergic to them with how shaky and jumpy the camera is. Naturally, this is a problem when the centrepiece of the film is Jason Statham going around fighting anyone who gets in his way.

The nadir of this is when he’s fighting Derek’s bodyguard and the camera is jumping all over the place. Don’t get me wrong Statham carries this but the constant cuts and needless jumpy camera doesn’t induce adrenaline or excitement, instead it induces boredom and audience groans. Now that’s how to remove the sting from any fight scene.

Jason Statham’s Performance in The Beekeeper

Speaking of Jason Statham, he easily carries the film though that’s not especially difficult when most of the cast seem to bee stuck in first gear and unable to extract that much. Hence why Hutcherson seems so isolated and despite doing a decent job at being the dickish crypto bro, I didn’t feel any sense of joy in seeing him get headshotted by Statham.

Anyway, Statham is typically great, especially in Bee movies like this, as he’s mostly just playing himself with a slightly different name every time. However, if I’ve got one criticism of his performance it’s that he’s a bit too invulnerable. If you’re going to rip off John Wick, remember the most important part is to make sure your badass assassin actually struggles. Whereas Ayer seemed to forget to tell Statham that until the final bodyguard fight scene because up to that point he’d been more protected than Hulk Hogan in the 80s. 


To summarise The Beekeeper, this is an unbeelivably alright bee movie which is carried by Jason Statham, and occasionally Josh Hutcherson. Unfortunately, it does occasionally lack any meaningful sting and feels like a moment to how not to rip off John Wick. After all, if you’re going to go for the king, or queen for bee puns, you better not miss.

Overall Rating: 5/10 – Average

Target Audience: 15+

Content Warning: Severe Violence and Gore, Severe Profanity, Moderate Alcohol, Drugs and Smoking, Severe Frightening and Intense Scenes

Recommendation: No