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The Beekeeper (15, 105 minutes)
What are the chances of a guy who keeps bees having once been part of a clandestine group of elite operatives known as Beekeepers? What a coincidence!
With the exception of the Melissa McCarthy comedy Spy, in which he is a hilarious parody of a tough guy, Jason Statham films tend to be two dimensional affairs in which people get shot, stabbed, blown up or, as in this case, rendered fingerless. and the only thing that really changes is the name of his character.
This hokum from Suicide Squad (the crappy first one, not the much better James Gunn follow up) director David Ayer is no different. Statham plays Adam Clay, a taciturn loner renting barn space and a strip of land from an elderly woman who he says is the only person who has ever looked after him. There he cares for his bee hives and stores jars of honey.
When his kindly landady takes her own life after falling victim to an internet phishing scam it becomes clear that Clay has a past and, like a poundshop John Wick, he sets about dispensing vengance on the perpetrators, leading him ever deeper into a conspiracy with national security implications.
Jeremy Irons is a former director of the CIA stuck somehow with the unenviable task of protecting the entitled rich kid at the centre of the criminal enterprise (Josh Hutcherson) when he knows that if a Beekeeper is coming for his charge, there’s little if any chance of saving him.
The suspension of disbelief is also impossible to maintain as the storyline takes ever unlikely turns, making a film that was already silly throwaway fayre just plain daft.
The fight scenes look like they’ve been lifted right out of a video game and the dialogue is littered with lazy bee puns delivered without a hint of humour. But even these pale in cringeworthyness next to the head in hands embarrassment of: “Taking from an elderly person is as bad as stealing from a child … maybe worse!”
I can’t think of many films worse than this and there may be more to come.