Call it the curse of high expectations but when Jerry Seinfeld makes his first animated feature, laughs should flow like honey but they dont – unless youre really into bee puns.
After college, bumblebee Barry B. Benson (Seinfeld) spends some time with the macho Pollen Jocks before starting work at the factory in New Hive City. Trapped in an apartment, he encounters a friendly florist, Vanessa (Renee Zellweger), who saves him from being annihilated by her boyfriend (Patrick Warburton). Breaking beedoms code of behavior, Barry talks to her. In return, she shows him how humans buy honey at the store. Feeling exploited, Barry gets so furious about this injustice that he sues humankind.
After a courtroom fight in which Sting (himself) is accused of stealing his stage name from bee culture Barry wins, defeating a blustering Southern lawyer (voiced by John Goodman). So honey is taken off the market. Bees lose their production jobs at Honex, flowers dont get pollinated and all vegetation in Central Park dies. If youre in a New York state of mind, that spells ecological disaster for the world.
Flitting in the background, theres a fast-talking mosquito Chris Rock), along with Barrys pal, Adam (Matthew Broderick), and his parents (Kathy Bates and Barry Levinson) who worry about Vanessa: could she be a WASP? Plus Ray Liotta playing himself.
Forbes magazine reports that comic icon Jerry Seinfeld earns $60 million a year in syndication royalties and from his stand-up gigs, yet hes the brain and voice of this simplistic yet heavily-hyped effort. Despite the weak writing, the computer animation is often eye-catching, although not up to Pixar standards. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, Bee Movie buzzes in as a surreal 6, an amusing 82-minute diversion.