Hello, Spongey here.
Welcome to the first in a line of special Requested reviews. I have always taken requests, but the ones I tend to get are just ones I would have done anyway, such as Sucker Punch.
To my knowledge, the only one that was a pure request, was A Serbian Film. …Yeah, you think that would turn me off from that forever, but I’m willingly to try again. So just go here for rules on requests:
With that said, our next 4 or so reviews will be requests, and the other requests shall be spaced out. Our first comes from Ferretmeat aka Agent Goldfish. That’s right, that guy who did some title cards and helped me point out my screw ups that one time.
His birthday just so happens to coming up, so when he put in a request, I decided to put this close to that. …There’s actually another birthday request coming up next. Strange, guess January is good for something!
Anyway, he picked something I find to be fine, but it certaintly has a crazy enough reptuation to be worth reviewing. This is a Dreamworks film from 2007, so you know it’s gotta be a mixed bag.
This is the time where they were jut doing their typical thing, although they started to get some minor improvement. This one was just another one people didn’t care for. The reviews were pretty mixed, with most people just forgettable.
But certain aspects of it made some people remember it, to the point where it has a cult following on places on Tumblr. But it’s the kind of folowing that likes to mock the movie for it’s dumber aspects.
As for me. I’ve always thought it was fine, but I haven’t seen it in a while. I do remember enough to know it’s not bad, but I’m not sure how it good it is now. With it’s strange following, there to be some…interesting flaws.
And since Goldy is making me do, may as well cover it. It does have enough to discuss, in the very least. With it’s two directors, one went on to do Penguins of Madagascar, and the other previously was a director on Prince of Egypt
…Quite the leap but okay. We have our four writers, which is never a good sign. One is Jerry Senfield, who is actually the big driving force behind the film, as he even stars in it. The other three are just people who worked along with him on some his works, not too much else.
For the 247th time, let’s look at a movie. We’ll see if this one is any good after all. Perhaps it’ll be better than people give it credit for. Or shall I say…Bee better?
That’s the last pun from me, I swear.
This, is Bee Movie
The movie opens with narration by Jim Cummings. Oh, is he gonna tell us that it’s not canon?
“According to all known laws of aviation, there is no way a bee should be able to fly. It’s wings are too small to get it’s fat little body off the ground. The bee of course, flies anyway. Because bees don’t care what humans think is impossible”
Heh. Also, this line is one of the biggest memes tied to this film for some reason.
Our story truly begins with our main character Barry, voiced by Jerry Seinfield, doing his morning routine up in his beehive home. He’s graduating from…bee school, I guess.
“A perfect report card, All B’s!”
said no puns from me, the movie makes no promises. Barry goes out and meets with his friend Adam, voiced by Matthew Brodreck. Insert that’s a lot of fish joke here.
It’s here we get a look at the bee world, and it’s pretty cool. While I wouldn’t say the animation is Dreamworks best, the Beehive does look very nice worth some very creative designs.
Also, there’s a joke where Barry says he will not go to some friends funeral since he died by stinging his squirrels, and that was a dumb move. Uh…our hero everybody?
“Quite a bit of pomp, under the circumstances”
really hope the humor gets better.
After an incredibly short graduation ceremony (my god I wish it was that way in real life), Barry and Adam become worker bees, and the factory gives us more creative visuals.
“That girl is hot”
“She’s my cousin!”
“Yes, we’re all cousins”
….I had enough incest references last week, thank you very much.
“Bees haven’t had a day off in a million years!”
“You’ll just work us to death?”
“We’ll sure try”
…This bit kind of plays into something, so I can forgive it.
Barry doesn’t like how this society works, as bees are all forced to do one thing forever. He’s jealous of the pollen jocks that get to get out in the world. Yeah, we’re doing that cliché, kind of like in Antz, but they don’t dwell on it too long.
The jocks here them discussing this, and dare Barry to go with them outside one day. Guess they will just allow a normal bee to do that or something. That night Barry tells his parents of his concerns but they don’t listen or care, because ….yeah of course.
The next day, Barry meets up with the jocks, as they do indeed let any bees do this because they are allowed to pick a job, they just have to stick that job. Yeah, should have mentioned so I didn’t question something that did not have actual flaws.
“Bee law number one, no talking to humans”
Gee, I wonder what will happen. Okay, bare with me because we do have a couple cliché turns to take before we get to the more…creative aspects of the story. I do think this is a nice way to get us into the story, and we thankfully get into the human world quickly.
With that, Barry and the gang fly off into the world where we get a pretty cool flying scene. I think Dreamworks is really good at doing flying scenes. They try to track down a flower, but end up mistaking a tennis ball for one, and since they are at a tennis court, this ends badly.
This ends up taking him through some strange places in one of those high energy scenes with a lot of quick and fun gags. He decides it’s time to go home, but it starts raining, and Bees cannot fly in rain.
They mentioned that early in more subtle foreshadowing.
He accidentally ends up in the home of Vanessa, voiced by Rene Zellwegger, and her boyfriend Ken, voiced by Patrick Warburton. This almost makes up for his other 2007 animated film!
“I gotta tell you, I predicted global warming”
Oh god, he’s one of those people, get him away!
Ken sees Barry and tries to kill him, but Vanessa protects him because she has to be nice to bees so this plot can happen. She lets him free just as the rain stops. But Barry stays behind because he wants to thank her, and I guess that’s more important than getting home safely.
He decides to break bee law and talk to her. She somehow has an underplayed reaction, but a normal one at the same time. It’s strange. I do kind of like how casual they play this, it’s kind of funny.
They hit off pretty well as we find out Vanessa is conveniently a florist, and thus loves flowers. That is semi important for later. Nothing too important happens as they just finish their conversations and Barry goes home.
Of course he does he want to go back, as he tells Adam that he met someone. …Yeah, they do kind of imply that Barry likes her romantically, yet don’t go 100 percent throughw with it.
It’s messed up on so many levels, but at least nothing….crazy happens with it. They mostly put emphasis on the friendship part, as Barry likes that she truly understands him.
Adam isn’t happy when he finds out but Barry still yearns for the human world. After a….strange dream sequence involving Vanessa that makes things creepier, he goes out to meet with her again.
They end up exchanging a few jokes regarding questions about the other species, They mention Tivo because 2007 Dreamworks.
They enter a grocery store as Barry finds out that humans take their honey. Now this is where our true premise kicks in. Things actually get rather interesting from here, and I think it’s done okay.
They lead up to it decently in the very least, although I do take issue with certain beats we hit on the way there. Barry decides to visit the place where they make the honey for the store but he just ends up on another journey with a bunch of gags, including him hitting a car windshield and meeting a mosquito voiced by Chris Rock.
Funny gag, but….random. Eventually Barry does make it to Honey Farms as he hears two humans bad mouthing Bees because he needs more reason to hate this situation for some reason.
Barry somehow gets pictures of these atrocities and shows them to his parents later on as he exposes the horrible truth of what humans do. They just…kind of gloss the over fact that Barry talks to humans and focus more on taking care of this human problem.
Yeah, we’ll be mostly forgetting the laws Barry broke and the weird thing with him and Vanessa so we can do this plot. It’s more interesting but it’s weird how they start to forgot about the strange parts a bit.
With that, Barry decides to sue the human race. Yes, that is actually the basic plot now. …It’s amazing. It’s so stupid but it’s such a crazy and funny idea. Not to mention original.
I can safely I’ve never seen a bee sue the human race before. This is where the movie becomes a lot more intereting. Anyway, Barry then goes on…Bee Larry King. Yes, they were so lazy they couldn’t come up with a pun name.
And how do Bees get TV to begin with?!
‘What about Bee Collumbus? Bee Ghandi?’
Putting Bee in front of a name is not a pun.
“They have a Larry King in the human world too”
We get the pun, let’s move on. So now we just skip the boring parts and get to the actual trial. You know, I think they will be more shocked at a freaking bee talking than the fact that he wants to sue humans.
But of course they have no reaction at all to that. The trail is fairly normal until Sting is brought to the stand. Because puns. They also bring in Ray Liotta because he was on Honey earlier.
“This isn’t a Goodfellow, this is a bad fellow!”
This movie is weird.
The trail seems to go fine as Barry and Vanessa hang out at home afterward. Ken starts to get a bit jealous of Barry and Vanessa’s relationship, which brings that creepy plot point back for some reason.
He decides he’s had enough and tries to kill Barry. After a few amusing gags with that, Vanessa sees this after somehow not hearing it for a full minute, and gets angry. Once again I wonder why the female “love interest” was with a jerk to begin with.
After that, the trail continues anew the next day as the lawyer representing the humans tries to take them down. It all goes south once Adam gets pissed off at him and stings him. Which means a random dramatic turn because….eh, why not.
He conveniently doesn’t die right away and is just hospitalized for now. Does this have a point? Guess we’ll see.
Back in the trial, things seem desperate until Barry brings his big evidence that will win him the case: A Bee smoker. Proof that humans harm bees and take from them.
“He’s playing the species card!”
With that, Barry and Vanessa win the case, and the bees get their honey back. We’re only hour in and the movie is like 90 minutes so…this does not end well. The bees stop making honey for the humans, bee farms shut down and it seems like everything is fine.
Also, there’s a weird bit where they shoot down a bear by Barry’s orders and he looks like Winnie the pooh. …I don’t get it.
Things immediately go bad, as Bees are forced out of work and become lazy, and on top of that, the flowers are dying because the lazy bees cannot polinate.
“Whose fault is that?”
Hey, you helped, lady!
Now this is very interesting. This is our last big plot turn, and it turns out pretty well. You think things would be just be happy after the trial, but it brings up something interesting here.
Making the honey kind of gives them a purpose, and helps out the humans. While they do steal, it really isn’t that bad to the circle of life. It’s an interesting plot turn that makes the story more engaging.
“How about a suicide pact?’
What is up with this movie?
After a sad bit, Barry comes up with a plan to fix everything, by using some Rose’s they can find to re-pollinate. Of course they must sneak in to this place to get the roses, as it is a bit out of town due to things being crappy over here.
Actually, does this reach out to every Bee in the world? How did they find out about this? Are things are bad in other countries?
Thankfully, it only takes a quick montage to do that and get on a plane with their roses. We’re not quite so once again I know something bad will happen.
Also, are bees allowed on planes, or what?
Some bad weather happens, and Barry tries to talk to the pilots and get them to just keep away so they can get home in time. They are scared by a talking bee being there, because they don’t watch the news I guess, and try to kill him but they just knocked out, forcing our heroes to fly the plane themselves.
Yeah, don’t try to get someone who might be better at this, just do it yourself. The plot will help you do it.
“It’s nothing more than a big metal bee!”
…Sure, why not.
“Technically a Bee shouldn’t fly at all”
Yes, Jim Cummings told us.
Flight Control is understandably skeptical about this but because the plot says so, they let him help fly the plane. He uses this chance to give a speech why bees are amazing and why they should make Honey again.
The other bees, especially the pollen jocks come out to help them so we can get an exciting, if a bit forced, climax. Well, it is a bit basic but I guess we can’t expect anything truly epic here.
The plane lands without a ton of trouble, but I guess I can let all that slide. Of course we’re not done as must use those roses to fix the problem. With a pop song montage, they manage to re-pollinate the flowers and get everything back to normal.
A bit of a quick fix to a huge problem, but whatever. Barry even becomes a lawyer to animals, with Chris Rock here to help.
“I’m already a blood sucking parasite, I just needed a briefcase”
Hardy har har.
The flower shop is booming again, and is also the hope of Barry’s law firm. Yes, a shop for flowers and legal advice. That is the best idea I’ve heard today. Also, I think she broke up with Ken cuz he shows up ranting. He was useful!
Things basically become all rosey and perfect again as Bees make honey again, and Barry is even a pollen jock along with being a legal person. Roll credits. …Huh, one of the weaker endings I’ve seen In a while.
They stretch it okay with a nice montage showing the happy ending, but it seems to end just as they the climax ends. It’s kind of strange. Rushed, they almost kind of satisfying. Odd, but so was the movie so it fits.
As a whole, I’d honestly say this movie was decent. Yes, it’s very flawed but it has some good things. One big flaw is how …odd it is. Some of the jokes are just strange like the suicide pact.
There aren’t a ton of jokes like that, but it’s still weird. At least the puns are kept to a minimum.
Each aspect has a notable pro and con. The animation on the humans can be a bit weak and odd looking, but the animation in the hive is very creative and well done. Most of the characters are just kind of there, being a bit useless, but the main characters are decently likable, even if they aren’t that complex.
The story is a bit messing with how it moves onto other parts while forgetting important aspects, but it also has creative ideas and goes in a few unexpected directions. Some of the humor is strange, but some of it is decently amusing.
It’s a bit of mixed bag, and I can why some may not like it for it’s strange humor, useless characters and messy story. But I think the good stuff wins out. I enjoy seeing some of the creative on display and the story does have some decent ideas here and there.
Although it is strange that the happy ending basically amounts to things being the same as before with the Non-Conformist Barry being wrong. I’m sure crazy conspiracy theories will have fun with that.
So yeah, this movie is flawed but enjoyable enough for me. It’s nothing amazingly special and it’s not one of Dreamworks best, but it was a decently idea done….decently. I see why some don’t like it, but I thought it was fine.
Grade: B(…Shut up)
Thanks for the request, Goldy. Glad I got to at least watch it again. Oh, and Happy Birthday as well.
Speaking of birthday requests, we got one next, and I don’t know how to hint at it, so I’ll just see you next time with it.