Directed by Steve Hickner and Simon J. Smith (PG)
A bee goes after humanity for stealing his species’ honey.
Bee Movie is “so unfunny it almost stings,” said Claudia Puig in USA Today. Trying his hand at animation, Jerry Seinfeld co-wrote, co-produced, and stars as a bee in this insect adventure. Barry B. Benson is a college graduate who isn’t ready to become a worker bee. He flees the hive, makes friends with a human, and then seeks justice by suing all of mankind for expropriating the bees’ honey. What should be a light children’s story about essentially nothing instead tries to address just about everything. Bee Movie belongs to no recognizable film genre, said Peter Hartlaub in the San Francisco Chronicle. It begins as an “Antz-style adventure and then randomly delves into a courtroom drama, an environmental parable, a save-the-world film, and even a romance.” Even if a parent—let alone a child—can get past the convoluted plot, Seinfeld lets too many syrupy jokes slide. It’s “as if each writer was paid by how many bee-related puns they could come up with.” Benson graduates with a perfect report card—all Bs! The companies he sues are Honeyburton and Honron. Benson may share his creator’s “antenna for comedy,” but he lacks his wit, said Peter Travers in Rolling Stone. You can humanize a bee, but it can’t deliver the deadpan that Seinfeld’s cerebral comedy needs.