New No. 1 Prime Video movie is my biggest surprise of the year — and viewers score it 92% on Rotten Tomatoes

Jason Statham as Adam Clay in "The Beekeeper" now streaming on Prime Video
(Image credit: Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo / Amazon MGM Studios)

I try not to prejudge a movie before seeing it for myself. I watch a lot of movies in theaters each year, and do my best to give every new release a fair shake. But I’ll admit before watching “The Beekeeper," I was convinced it was going to be awful. 

All the signs were there. It landed in theaters in mid-January — known as a “dump month” in the industry — and it stars British tough man Jason Statham, who (with the greatest respect) has been in an awful lot of stinkers over the years. 

Therefore, I was shocked when the movie turned out to be a total blast. It’s a truly ludicrous action thriller, that verges on “so bad, it’s good” pretty often, but it’s also remarkably earnest, and entirely self-aware of its ridiculousness. The movie recently landed on Amazon Prime Video and has rocketed straight to No. 1 in the top 10 list. 

So, if you’re wondering whether to stream “The Beekeeper” on Prime Video this week, here’s why you shouldn’t dismiss this over-the-top action thrill ride as readily as I once did.

What is “The Beekeeper” about? 

In “The Beekeeper”, Jason Statham plays Adam Clay, a man with a borderline concerning obsession with bees. 

Clay is a former member of a clandestine organization of elite soldiers known as the Beekeepers. But having retired from the Secret Service, he now lives a simple life on a countryside farm as an actual beekeeper (see what I mean, this man LOVES bees).  

When his kind-hearted landlady (Phylicia Rashad) falls victim to a telephone phishing scam and subsequently commits suicide after losing more than $2 million belonging to a charitable trust, Clay is filled with a desire for vengeance. He returns to his old ways and sets out on a one-man mission to bring those responsible for the crime to justice whatever the cost. 

However, these scammers are not lone operatives, and Clay’s reckless need for revenge soon brings him into conflict with the former head of the CIA (Jeremy Irons), and an arrogant tech bro (Josh Hutcherson), who just so happens to be the son of the current President of the United States (Jemma Redgrave). 

“The Beekeeper” is stupidly good fun

Jason Statham as Adam Clay in "The Beekeeper" now streaming on Prime Video

(Image credit: Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo / Amazon MGM Studios)

To make my position clear, “The Beekeeper” is not a great movie. I’m not here to argue that it’s a misunderstood masterpiece, or that it’s a movie the critics got wrong (its 71% score on Rotten Tomatoes is fair). However, I can’t deny, that I had an absolute ball watching it in theaters, and look forward to rewatching it on Prime Video. 

It’s obvious from the get-go that everybody involved in “The Beekeeper," from director David Ayer through to Statham himself, knew exactly what sort of movie they were making, and they steered right into the skid. This results in a brainless action romp, but one that is pleasantly self-aware. 

The fact the movie is stuffed to bursting with bee puns is evidence that everybody understood the assignment. When Statham delivers lines like “I’m here to protect the hive” as if it’s the single coolest one-liner in movie history, you can’t help but grin along. “The Beekeeper” is a riot from start to finish, and will make you crave honey. 

Josh Hutcherson as Derek Danforth in "The Beekeeper" now streaming on Prime Video

(Image credit: LANDMARK MEDIA / Alamy Stock Photo / Amazon MGM Studios)

It’s not just Statham fully committing to the madness here either. Josh Hutcherson sheds his teen heartthrob image to play a truly detestable character. Hutcherson’s Derek Danforth is a slimy jerk, born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and believing that his POTUS mother can bail him out of any sticky situation. Hutcherson does a fantastic job playing a villain that you love to hate.  

I should also give some credit to direct David Ayer. I felt his 2017 Netflix movie “Bright” lacked thrills and enjoyable action, but “The Beekeeper” has both in spades. Ayer delivers big set-piece moments that delight, and the climax shootout is impressive. Even if the narrative has gone entirely off the rails by that point. 

Stream “The Beekeeper” on Prime Video right now

I’m not the only viewer who found “The Beekeeper” as delightful as a fresh jar of honey. The movie holds a seriously impressive 92% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, and this comes from more than 2,500 ratings, with one user review calling it the “new John Wick” (though that might set your expectations a little high). 

If you’re looking for pure cinematic escapism to fight off the midweek blues, then “The Beekeeper” is the perfect candidate. It’s impossibly silly from the word go, but also seriously charming, and not for a moment does it ever try and pretend to be anything other than uncomplicated fun. 

Sometimes you’re in the mood for a big dumb action movie, and in that particularly niche arena, “The Beekeeper” stands out as a Prime Video original that is of a surprisingly high quality. It’s not going to make my favorite movies of the year list, but it’s most certainly going to be among my biggest movie surprises of 2024. And I'll certainly bee watching it again now that it's arrived on Prime Video. 

You can stream “The Beekeeper” on Prime Video right now

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Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team. 

  • AladdinSaneNYC
    My lady and I watched a good chunk of this absurd action film. The dialogue was as stupid as stupid can be with the word "f##k" and variations of it in almost every line. The acting was atrocious to say the least. It is a "surprise" as mentioned in your critique of it. The surprise being that it's so terrible and as the film is a hit worldwide making tons of $$$ you wonder how brain dead it's viewers may be in calling it great. Sorry, but we found it to complete rubbish! Peace...🙏🏹♐
  • Snowrosered
    A satisfying Superhero movie without the costumes. That's why all the Bam Pow XXXX dialog. Jason is entertaining satisfying the need to see the bad guys get theirs. It's not supposed to be real. Just entertainment at the comic book level.
  • Fox Tread3
    July 11, 2024 - I didn't expect much from this movie prior to watching it, but I have always enjoyed the movies that Jason Statham stars in. Fortunately, because of my low expectations regarding this movie. I was able to watch it to the end without feeling that I should have spent the time. Going out onto the street and trying to have conversations with strangers. I gave the movie three stars out of five. I think the reporter that wrote this article, is an example of people that are just accustomed to mediocre movies and TV productions. "Reality TV", and a dozen iderations of NCIS, Law and Order, and similar series get a good viewing numbers. They are examples of the fact that people just want something to zone out to. While they pay more attention to their cell phones than what they are "watching". The Cable, streamer, and satellite companies are just interested in providing content to stay in business. They really don't care if its bad, good or indifferent as long as people pay them to watch "stuff".