#Showbiz: 'The Beekeeper' buzzes along

FOR the past 20 years, he's kicked and punched his way through a variety of action films like 'The Transporter', 'Crank', and 'The Expendables'.

Last year, Jason Statham again took on an onscreen giant prehistoric shark in 'Meg 2: The Trench'.

Age doesn't seem to be mellowing the 56-year-old English actor as he returns with another over-the-top action film for 2024, titled 'The Beekeeper'.

This time, he's taking on an even bigger and implausible antagonist, who sits at the top of the totem pole of the US political system.

Statham is electrifying as the man-of-few-words, and gristled Adam Clay, who has an exclusive set of "deadly skills".

He's a retired operative of a super covert organisation in the US that is tasked with maintaining the hierarchical order of things.

Dubbed a "beekeeper", he essentially springs into action whenever the "hive" is threatened.

The movie starts with Adam carrying on with his life as an actual beekeeper, who breeds bees for their honey, on a farm owned by a kind, elderly lady.

When something bad happens to her, resulting in her death, Adam goes on a personal revenge spree to dish out some sweet justice.

Along the way, this one-man army's systematic and clinical rampage uncovers an even more rotten core that sees his vendetta escalating to a national level.

Peppered in between are hero shots and poses that amplify Statham's onscreen charisma, just in case the viewer hasn't already realised it.

Much of the movie sees him dispatching or disabling a variety of baddies, some more colourful than others, with ease as he works his way up the evil empire's food chain.

The movie places itself within the current issues that have been troubling people's minds, from online scams targeting the elderly, the class disparity and corruption in politics, as well as a general breakdown and distrust in the authorities.

It plays out like a simplistic fable, but there's an enjoyment in seeing the seemingly powerful elite get their just deserts after trampling on the little people.

Those who like Liam Neeson in 'Taken' or Denzel Washington in 'The Equalizer' movies will probably have a good time with this one.

Directed by David Ayer, 'The Beekeeper' starts with an engaging premise. Unfortunately, it settles down into familiar territory with a relatively hastened ending.

There's plenty of action and it's done well but nothing stands out that would blow the minds of action movie junkies.

Another downer is the lack of a proper, terrifying villain to increase the stakes. The main bad guy was just an annoying sap who wasn't even taken out satisfyingly compared with the other baddies killed in the movie.

'The Beekeeper' also tries to build its in-world lore about a shadow organisation that the public is unaware of.

This was done to greater effect in the 'John Wick' movies starring Keanu Reeves.

It might not be perfect but it's still an entertaining affair that should keep action and Statham fans moderately sated.

'The Beekeeper', which also stars Emmy Raver-Lampman, Josh Hutcherson, Bobby Naderi, Minnie Driver, Phylicia Rashad, and Jeremy Irons, opens in cinemas nationwide on Jan 18.

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