3/15/17

BEE MOVIE - REVIEW


Nearly 10 years after their last insect-themed movie Antz, Dreamworks released Bee Movie, an animated feature in which Jerry Seinfeld, of all people, voices a bee who discovers the ugly truth about how humans gather their honey and sell it without the bees' permission.

There's something inherently wacky about this whole movie, from the look of the characters to the plot itself which is really over-the-top. In Antz, everything happened in the ant colony below Manhattan so you could easily suspend disbelief whereas Bee Movie goes all out and giddily breaks, if not a fourth wall, a third wall as the bees start interacting with the human characters directly and even sue humanity in a court of law over honey. As silly as this all sounds, Bee Movie knows exactly how goofy it is and it enjoys every minute of it. Co-written by Jerry Seinfeld himself, this film plays out both like a straight-up kids' movie but also a pastiche of animated films like Toy Story or other Disney movies where inanimate objects or animals interact with humans like it's a totally normal thing. This is a much more clever animated film than it seems from just looking at the poster or even watching the trailer and this is mostly due to a pretty sharp script.

The bee world the film creates is colourful and fun, sort of like a cross between the off-beat society of Monsters Inc. and the isolated yet rich working world of Antz, so that alone should entertain younger viewers. The film is also very funny throughout, there's always something entertaining going on and it's surprisingly unpredictable. The voice cast, which includes Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Matthew Broderick, Renée Zellweger, John Goodman and others is very good and, as ludicrous as it is, the plot is a lot of fun to sit through as you keep expecting the film to write itself into a corner but it never happens. The movie admittedly takes some huge leaps of logic but every time it does that, there's usually a joke about how silly it all is following soon after. There is plenty for adult viewers to enjoy in Bee Movie, believe it or not, from the scene where Barry (Seinfeld) debates Bee Larry King on television to random cameos by the likes of Sting and Ray Liotta and the spoof elements.

On the surface, Bee Movie really looks like just another ridiculous, half-assed cash-in but this is actually a genuinely enjoyable little animated comedy kids and their parents (Seinfeld fans or not) alike should have a great time watching.

Underrated.

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