Speaking of the Beekeepers, this was the part of the movie I was most interested to see expanded on after I saw the trailer. The mythology of “John Wick” is expansive, but relatively simple: There’s a shadowy world of assassins who have their own set of rules and currency, but mostly, that world operates as a sort of sub-society to the rest of the world, and rarely the twain shall meet. Here, the mythology is a bit more muddled.
For one thing, there’s a group of operatives at computers who answer Clay’s call early in the movie and provide him with key information, but technically, they don’t seem to be Beekeepers. Apparently, only one person can be designated as the Beekeeper, but when the current Beekeeper is sent to dispatch Adam Clay and Clay easily takes them out, we never find out what that really means for the structure of the organization. Is there another Beekeeper in line to take their place? Another oddity: The Beekeepers’ mantras and tactical plans are modeled after the behavior of actual bees, but as the film goes on, the metaphor grows more and more strained as characters seem less like they’re making human decisions and more like they’re simply following a certain pattern of behavior because that’s kind of like what bees do. (There are a few entertainingly ludicrous one-liners, which at least confirm the filmmakers know all of this is pretty zany.)
Minnie Driver briefly shows up playing an old colleague of Jeremy Irons’ character, and she seems to know a little about the Beekeepers but doesn’t appear to be actually affiliated with that group, which calls its grand secrecy into question. I love the idea of investing screen time into all of this world-building, I just wish the movie could have thought things out a little more and provided more clarity about it. I had a few moments of thinking, “Hell yeah, this is silly and fun,” but ultimately, I ended up with more confused reactions about how all of this is supposed to work. That’s the downside of introducing a mythology that integrates with real-world institutions instead of one that’s siloed off in its own sub-society, like the “John Wick” movies.