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Content Caution

The Beekeeper 2024


In Theaters


Home Release Date




Bob Hoose

Movie Review

Adam Clay—or, at least, the guy currently using that name—used to be a very dangerous man. These days, however, he’s not. In fact, he’s singularly focused on taking care of his large hive of bees.

Those beautiful, winged insects soothe him. They give Adam a purpose, structure. And as he focuses on the health of the hive, its safety and productivity, he finds peace. He’s nothing more—but nothing less—than a beekeeper.

The fact is, Adam isn’t all that great with people. He has a nice and cordial relationship with Eloise Parker, whose barn he rents to keep his bees. And when they cross paths, he takes time to thank Eloise for her kindness and for “taking care” of him. But other than those occasional conversations, and moments when he passes her a jar of his homemade honey, Adam pretty much sticks to bee work.

But that changes one day when wasps fly in.

The intruders aren’t actual wasps, more of the metaphorical type. But they’re just as deadly. And wasps can destroy a hive if you let them survive.

The foul predators in this case are data miners who happen upon the elderly Eloise when her computer pops up a notice of a virus infection. These cunning deceivers work their way into Eloise’s confidence with honey-sweet promises of help. Then they sting and steal everything.

And Eloise? She’s left with nothing, save feeling old and useless. In her mind, she’s a burden to everyone and everything she cares about. So, Eloise takes her own life.

Adam happens to stumble upon the woman’s body when bringing her some honey. Eloise’s daughter, Verona, also happens along at the same time. And she’s devastated, as a daughter and as an FBI agent.

Verona knows of the wasps who preyed on her mother. They’re a vile, nearly invisible group who have been evading the FBI for some time now. And Verona is nearly powerless to do anything about their terrible actions.

Adam, unexpectedly, is not so powerless. You see, this beekeeper used to be a Beekeeper. His secretive agency was designed to keep a much larger national hive balanced and productive. And when law and order didn’t work against the evil wasps of the world, the very dangerous, very skilled Beekeepers would step in.

Adam left that behind to take care of his small hive of insects.

But it appears that it’s time for this beekeeper to exterminate some vile wasps once more.

Positive Elements

Though Adam (played by action stalwart Jason Statham) is fairly emotionless throughout the movie, Eloise was obviously an important person in his life. He repeatedly mentions the impact of her simple kindness to him. He talks about how Eloise must have felt after being betrayed. “Being old can be a lonely thing. When you get to a certain age, you cease to exist,” Adam notes.

And in a way, despite the carnage and deadliness he leaves in his wake, the film suggests that Adam is simply attempting to correct a wrong. In fact, his initial desire is to do little more than take out the digital call center that victimized Eloise. He walks in and asks the data miners there to repeat after him: “I will never steal from the weak and vulnerable again.” He then asks them to leave. But things turn ugly from there. Soon he realizes that the center is connected to a much larger nationwide corruption.

Verona is presented as an FBI agent who refuses to turn away from her oath of national service, even when other agents aren’t so dedicated. (That said, even she bends the rules by the movie’s end.)

Spiritual Elements

Verona declares her desire to take down her mother’s tormentors, “So help me, God!”

Sexual Content

Women wear formfitting outfits during one party scene. We hear references to genitals and oral sex.

Violent Content

The Beekeeper revels in raw, sometimes bloody violence. We see Adam take out foes—in groups and singly—in aggressive and brutal ways.

Sometimes it’s as simple as pounding someone repeatedly with a phone receiver till they’re a bleeding, broken mess. Other times he hangs foes—gasping and flailing—by wires and chains. He hacks off fingers with a buzz saw (the bloody stumps closely examined by the camera), and in another instance with a sharp blade. He shoves rifle barrels, glass shards and knives into people’s chests, throats and face. Adam has a man dragged off a high bridge by a speeding vehicle; he snaps a wide variety of arms, legs and necks. People get thrown off staircases and other elevated areas to land in broken heaps. He jams a rifle stock in someone’s mouth and snaps out the man’s teeth.

A woman with a minigun rips up a gas station with high-caliber fire before she’s doused in honey and set on fire. Buildings are set ablaze and demolished by massive explosions. Groups of men are sent flying by explosive detonations. We see the crisped and sizzling corpses of victims after the fact in several cases. A guy is shot in the face, leaving an open and heavily bleeding hole in his cheek. Later on while battling Adam, that wound is torn open further by a large shard of glass.

During one explosive incident with an elevator, a man is sliced in half. Others are snagged by wires and dragged down into the open shaft to spill out in twisted piles on the lower floors. A man is tortured by a stapler being repeatedly jammed into his forehead, cheeks and hands. Many men—including FBI agents, CIA agents, former SEAL team members and Secret Service agents—are shot, blown up, broken and left in some cases for dead. Knocked out guards are left behind to die in building fires. Etc.

Crude or Profane Language

We hear more than a hundred f-words and some 20 s-words mixed with multiple uses each of “b–ch” “a–” and “a–hole.” God’s and Jesus’ names are misused a total of six or seven times (two of those combining God with “d–n”).

Drug and Alcohol Content

Verona gets drunk after the death of her mother. She offers alcohol to Adam, but he refuses. Other people drink beer. A character named Derek Danforth, the son of a highly placed U.S. official, drinks hard liquor and beer profusely. We also see him snort cocaine. His mother smokes a cigarette.

Other Negative Elements

Though Adam is trying to right a wrong, this revenge flick nevertheless cheers his savage and deadly actions. And it promotes a broad moral relativism, suggesting that his lawless actions are justified in light of the atrocities of corrupt government officials and self-serving business interests that prey upon the weak. Adam is never brought to justice for the murder of scores of people (including FBI, Secret Service and former CIA agents).

Adam steals vehicles. We learn that someone took software, created by the CIA to hunt terrorists but then used it to commit financial crimes.


The Beekeeper is designed to be a brainless honey rush to our moviegoing senses.

The film’s protagonist is a preternaturally potent enigma who pounds, rips out teeth, lops off fingers and generally bloodies-to-mush those seemingly untouchable forces we hear about in our daily news feeds.

And the Beekeeper—muscularly embodied by actor Jason Statham—works without a shred of emotion or mercy. Which is exactly how our baser human nature would like evil to be dealt with.

Problem is, you can only turn your brain off for so long. Eventually, that mass of blood vessels and neurons in your noggin taps you on the shoulder and makes note of how impossible this one-dimensional film story is. It grouses that the movie’s few words of dialogue—stitched together by a constant thread of f-bombs—aren’t explaining anything.

More important than all that, however, is the fact that your brain will quickly realize that a short movie trailer dripping eye candy is one thing, but having that glazed savagery shoved down your throat for an hour and 45 minutes ain’t all that sweet.

Nor, for that matter, is it healthy.

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Bob Hoose

After spending more than two decades touring, directing, writing and producing for Christian theater and radio (most recently for Adventures in Odyssey, which he still contributes to), Bob joined the Plugged In staff to help us focus more heavily on video games. He is also one of our primary movie reviewers.