I should’ve known we were in for a rough time when Jason Statham’s bad-ass one-liner to a villain was about estate planning, but at that moment, I still thought The Beekeeper would be one of those “so bad it’s good” films. But no, it’s just bad. Like mind-numbingly, eye-rollingly bad. Like “How many people starred in this because they needed to pay their mortgage?” bad. There is, of course, the awful dialog, which requires the likes of Jeremy Irons and Minnie Driver to slum it. But there’s also the grim tone that’s not really grim but rather, desperately wants you to think it’s grim and a storyline that requires characters to suddenly know things they couldn’t possibly know in order to keep things moving towards a hollow conclusion. I have a pretty low bar for Jason Statham movies: I just want to see him punch cartoonishly bad guys in the faces and look cool while doing so. I gave The Beekeeper an extra half-star because the bad guys being punched are slimy tech bros but still, it makes you long for the cinematic brilliance of the second Transporter movie.
An obvious star vehicle for The Rock, but not even his trademark charisma can save this tedious superhero movie. DC seemed to be angling for something inspirational à la 2018’s Black Panther, but it falls flat in practically every way. (The annoying kid “sidekick” certainly doesn’t help.) One bright spot was Pierce Brosnan, who brought some welcome gravitas as Doctor Fate. I’m a sucker for DC’s magic-oriented characters (e.g., John Constantine, Zatanna), and enjoyed seeing Fate on the screen. But he deserved better than Black Adam.
What a tedious film. I don’t think I felt a single moment of fun, excitement, or wonder in its 146 minutes. The performances are phoned in, the script’s a mishmash of ideas and nostalgic throwbacks, the visual effects are OK, and the action sequences just feel like they’re checking the boxes (like the obligatory T-Rex battles). Also, I’m sure that making the villain CEO look like Apple’s Tim Cook seemed clever at the time, but it’s really just eyeroll-inducing.
I knew this would be a disaster even before I started watching it, and yet I still stayed up way too late to finish it. I only have myself to blame. I’m giving it an extra half star because there are moments that hint at a much cooler, weirder movie. Still doesn’t change the fact that G.I. Joe titles should only ever be animated (e.g., G.I. Joe: Resolute).