Anthony's Film Review
Bee Movie (2007)
With imagination and wit, Bee Movie is more like an A-minus movie...
With Bee Movie, Jerry Seinfeld has successfully made a huge leap with a soft landing. Going from a highly-rated sitcom poking fun at adult situations in life to an animated film geared towards both kids and adults is no easy task. Playing the role of the lead actor, writer, and producer of a film is also a challenge. Yet, Seinfeld has done all of this quite well. The fact that I enjoyed the movie a lot reminds me of the most important element in creativity: passion. You can tell that Seinfeld was highly involved because he conceived it and wanted it to be memorable.
In addition, his voice makes him a natural choice for Barry B. Benson, the film's insect protagonist. Barry is a humble bee who wants to break out of the colony monotony of making honey, the sole profession of the hive. Starting from the first line, Seinfeld is perfect for the bee character. He's also great because he pokes fun at the things that make people weird. That is, Barry has funny observations of humans very much like Seinfeld in his stand-up comedy and sitcom.
The other thing that makes the film take off quite is the visuals. The great wonder of the hive is the entire process of making honey, consisting of a series of machines with bees responsible for each one. The bees also have lives similar to ours, from television to college graduation. Perhaps the most surprising technology in the hive is the automobile. Like humans, bees drive in little cars because their natural means of locomotion can sometimes be tiring.
The real charm of Bee Movie comes from how strange the humans appear in the eyes of bees. For one thing, bees are forbidden to talk to humans, yet Barry meets a kind florist named Vanessa, voice by Renee Zellweger, who becomes his friend. And when Barry discovers that humans sell honey for others to eat, he becomes enraged and takes the human race to court. Now, you do have to suspend disbelief to be amused by a courtroom with humans and bees on opposite sides, but if you can do that, you can continue to smile at how it's more original and inspired than some other animated films.
So the humor is either based on clever and witty commentary or slapstick physical comedy. There's not as much physical comedy as the witty humor, but it isn't as funny anyway. The only physical comedy scene I really laughed at involves a fencing match between Barry with his stinger and a human trying to kill him with a thumbtack. Again, I found myself enjoying more of the funny observations that bees have, which leads me to mention another funny scene: Barry sees a 75-watt light bulb and thinks that it's a sun with a big 75 on it.
The movie starts off good and gets better towards the end with more cleverly written scenes and an environmental message. I thought this film was better than I thought it would be and I knew this even from the beginning of the movie. The title "Bee Movie" is a take on the term "B-movie" that describes a film of average quality for both the filmmakers and the audience. If Seinfeld expected Bee Movie to be just that, he'll be happy to know that it really deserves an A minus. He wrote a script telling an amusing and clever story. Maybe that is why Ray Liotta, Sting, and Larry King agreed to be in the film and, please excuse the pun, poke fun at themselves.
For more information about Bee Movie, visit the Internet Movie Database.