Thursday, November 01, 2007

Bee Movie has Sting, but no sting

That’s my mini review, after catching the Bee Movie screening on Tuesday night. It's surprisingly unfunny, for a Jerry Seinfeld movie.

By “Sting,” I mean an animated character that’s Sting, from the Police -- not sure how that reference, or the Larry King or Ray Liotta characters, are going to work with the movie’s target demographic.

And I'm thinking that the sequence that's essentially an homage to The Graduate is going to fly right over (no pun intended) most of the adults in the audience.

Short plot summary: Barry B. Benson* (Seinfeld) has just graduated from college, and he must choose a job-for-life in the honeymaking operation. He's encouraged to do so by his best friend Adam (Matthew Broderick). But Barry is a rebel, and he takes a detour to the world outside the hive. There, in New York City, he falls in love with a pretty New York florist (Renee Zellweger) and decides to sue the human race for hijacking the bees' honey. Along the way, he runs into crazy characters, including a jive-talking mosquito (Chris Rock) and learns life lessons, etc. John Goodman plays the voice of Layton T. Montgomery, the Southern-fried attorney representing the human race.

Best joke in the movie is a lawyer joke, offered by a mosquito-turned-attorney, explaining his choice of profession: It goes something like ..."I'm already a blood-sucking parasite. All I needed was a briefcase." The script is laced with Jewish humor, including a character's question asking whether Barry's new girlfriend is "Bee-ish."

Still, the movie simply is lackluster, with a formulaic plot, standard-issue animation and very few laugh-out-loud lines.

And can you tell me why bees, who can fly, need alternate forms of transportation?

Other voices in the film: Patrick Burton, Kathy Bates, Barry Levinson, Rip Torn, Oprah (as a judge), Rip Torn, Megan Mullally, and, as themselves, Sting, Larry King and Ray Liotta.

Alternate head: Oh bee, where is thy sting?


*Remember the Dustin Hoffman character's name in The Graduate? Benjamin Braddock.

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