Dave and Rachel's movie reviews.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Bee Movie

Year: 2007
Running time: 91 minutes
Certificate: U
Language: English
Screenplay: Jerry Seinfeld, Spike Feresten, Barry Marder, Andy Robin
Director: Steve Hickner, Simon J. Smith
Starring (voices): Jerry Seinfeld, Renée Zellweger, Matthew Broderick, Patrick Warburton, John Goodman, Chris Rock, Kathy Bates, Barry Levinson

Barry revels in this glorious new world outside the hive.
Jerry Seinfeld provides the voice of Barry B. Benson, a young bee who is disillusioned about the thought of spending the rest of his life doing one job, be it a stirrer like dad Martin (Barry Levinson), or spending the day strapped to a revolving wheel with a spoon on his head to catch drops of honey before they are lost, like best friend Adam Flayman (Matthew Broderick). Feeling rebellious, he tags along with a group of 'pollen-jocks', who have the dangerous task of leaving the hive and collecting the nectar and pollinating the flowers.

Through a series of accidents, Barry gets separated from the others, and his life is saved by florist Vanessa Bloom (Renée Zellweger), and the two strike up an unlikely friendship. Never mind that humans aren't that surprised that bees can talk; it's just one of those things you have to go with. Barry notices one day that supermarket shelves are full of honey and that humans are forcing bees to live in custom-built hives and make honey that they steal for themselves. Outraged, Barry goes on a mission to sue humans, which leads to a court case to reclaim stolen honey. The major point of the story, however is to illustrate to those of us who may not realise it, just how important to our world the little black and yellow pollinators are. Barry wins the court case, and bees get all their honey back. With no need to work to create honey, the bees all stay in. Without the bees, pollination effectively stops and all the flowers die. So begins a race against time to bring the bees back.
Barry and Vanessa: An unlikely friendship.

There are a few funny moments - Vanessa's boyfriend Ken (Patrick Warburton) goes slowly insane as he is gradually replaced by a bee, and when Barry meets Mouseblood (Chris Rock) on a windscreen wiper. The animation is OK, the story is OK, and combined with the average sound, jokes and voice-acting makes for a whole that is, well, OK.

Score: 5/10

It seems I am in synch the majority, in that Bee Movie has its moments, but is generally nothing special; see these other reviews by Josh and A. O. Scott at the New York Times.