Why The Beekeeper Blew Everyone Away At The Box Office

When an action movie gets strong reviews from critics and makes bank at the box office, it’s easy to assume it’s a more complex, expertly-crafted thriller with an intelligent script meant to make us think. But “The Beekeeper,” for all its success, isn’t that. Outside of its single, smartly-placed plot twist at the movie’s climax, the story is fairly straightforward: Adam Clay’s neighbor is scammed and dies, and he is determined to see those responsible punished.

Now, that’s not to say at all the film isn’t well-written — it’s just that screenwriter Kurt Wimmer seems to understand exactly what kind of movie this is. There is no loftier ambition than to entertain and thrill, and as a result, he’s trimmed the fat and stuck to a lean, mean, well-paced story that gets straight to the point. 

It has everything a good action movie needs, and no fluff, which provides a brisk runtime for audiences. There’s no getting bogged down in expansive world-building — we barely learn anything about the organization Clay works for — and sequel teases are vague at best, with the hero getting away and living to fight another day. There’s not even a post-credits stinger to set up a second story or spin-off. An added benefit of the film’s concise length is that it doesn’t waste a moviegoer’s time, while offering theaters room for more screenings — a far cry from the two-and-a-half-hour behemoths that seem to flood theaters these days.

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