I honestly don't know what I was thinking. With the exception of the Shrek franchise, I haven't found a Dreamworks Animation film I've enjoyed. And, while I enjoyed a few episodes, I found Seinfeld to be anything but funny. Yet for some reason, I decided I needed to see Bee Movie. In reality, you don't need to see it.
Recommend this product?
Our story centers on Barry B. Benson (Jerry Seinfeld). He is a young bee ready to graduate from school. And boy, were those nine days hard. At least he had a perfect B average. He and his classmates are given their orientation at Honex, where they will choose their jobs for life.
But Barry isn't ready for that. And the idea of doing one thing for the rest of his life doesn't excite him. So he slips in with the pollen brigade for one trip outside the hive first. It's a wonderful place with colors and flowers and fun.
While outside the hive, he meets Vanessa (Renee Zellweger). He breaks bee rules and speaks to her. The two soon strike up a friendship and Barry even develops a crush.
But when he joins Vanessa in a grocery store, he finds the row of honey. Upset that humans have been exploiting bees for years, he sets out to sue the human race for to get all that stolen honey back. Will he win?
I saw the movie at a Saturday matinee full of kids. They were laughing at stuff during the previews. But they were very silent during the film. Instead, most of the laughter I heard was coming from the adults. But even that wasn't as much as I expected. Yes, the humor is dry, but that's not the biggest problem. Frankly, the jokes are old and recycled. The first 15 or 20 minutes were clever. The idea of a bee society like ours was well developed, and I loved the jokes about bee life spans. But once Barry left the hive, things began falling apart.
It's not just the laughs that weren't there. The plot was weak as well. It rambled and wandered all over the place. While one event followed another, it really didn't tie together. Having said that, I did like where we wound up, and I had a smile on my face at the outcome. It's not that the plot was a mess, but it certainly didn't seem focused.
As with most Dreamworks animated films, this one boasts a famous voice cast. Joining Seinfeld and Zellweger are the likes of Matthew Broderick, Chris Rock, Patrick Warburton, John Goodman, Kathy Bates, and Oprah Winfrey with cameos by Sting, Ray Liotta, and Larry King. For the most part, I didn't recognize their voices. They all did a great job with their voice acting.
The computer animation is very stylized. It's not the realistic stuff that we normally see. In fact, most of the characters, human and bee, look plasticy. Technically, its fine, and some of the flying sequences were fun. But it wasn't a huge draw to the film.
I didn't hate Bee Movie. While I laughed, I just didn't find it nearly as funny as it could have been. It's not a movie to avoid, but it also isn't a movie to rush out to see. In fact, you won't miss much if you wait for the DVD.
This review is an entry in sleeper54's Lean n Mean VI Write-Off. Come join the fun.