Archive for February, 2008

bee movie

With so many excellent animated movies being produced these days, a computer animated film produced by Dreamworks and containing the voice talents of Jerry Seinfeld, Renée Zellweger, and Matthew Broderick would seem to be a slam dunk. However, despite these talents, the film never seems to get into a groove.

Bee Movie is the story of a young bee, Barry B. Benson (voiced by Seinfeld), who is confronted at his graduation from Bee school with a sense of Bee existentialism, questioning whether his current existence as a bee is “all that there is.”

While searching for a career, he follows a squadron of bees on a pollen-gathering mission. During his flight, he is knocked from the sky by a droplet of rain and falls into a flowerbed outside of the apartment of florist Vanessa Bloome (voiced by Zellweger). Upon regaining consciousness, he begins a conversation with Vanessa, much to her chagrin.

Vanessa and Barry then develop a relationship, which despite bestiality overtones is (thankfully) never consummated. Barry begins to question the business of beekeeping as an affront to the independence of beekind worldwide. His plight eventually causes bees to stop working, leading to the involution of flowering plants worldwide and (almost) a global catastrophe.

What the film is lacking is a character or relationship that the audience can become invested in. Despite the voice of Seinfeld, Barry seems somehow less relevant without Elaine, Kramer and Jerry.

Even a smattering of feel-good, heavy-handed environmentalism which dilutes the last 30 minutes doesn’t lend the movie any more substance.

Bee Movie is ok, but not great. It has potential, but doesn’t seem to deliver.

I give it ** Jessicas out of four. An ok rental, a disappointing full price investment.

EK