Man vs Bee: Review rating

Review: Man vs Bee, a story of unrequited love. The love of an insect for a man. The bee is infatuated with the man, never leaving him alone. Blindly following him everywhere, brushing aside the man’s  unwavering rejection and blatant attempts at annihilation.

A ludicrous scenario but no more ludicrous than the storyline of this overlong sketch. It is of course Rowan Atkinson doing what he does best: acting the bumbling, accident prone inadequate. And very well he does it too. From Mr Bean to Johnny English the incompetence of the characters is never in doubt. In Man vs Bee, Mr Bean (oops) sorry Trevor is placed into a situation that affords the maximum opportunity to display his ineptness. And display it he does – for far too long.

Trevor, a divorced father of one daughter, on his first day in a job as a ‘professional’ house-sitter, is left to safeguard the ultrahigh tech house of a mega-rich couple whilst they go on vacation. This couple do not shop on the high street. Their possessions include at least one Mondrian, an ancient manuscript (worth £millions) and the first E-Type Jaguar ever built now worth two million pounds. For sure, nothing in this sprawling modernist architect designed dwelling came from Ikea.

Every appliance in the house is electronically automated and doors passworded. Having given Trevor a two-minute briefing the couple depart, content that all relevant information and instructions are contained in a weighty manual.

Rowan Atkinson coping with a young bearded collie in Man Vs BeeFurthermore, he has to look after the couple’s boisterous young Bearded Collie dog. What could possibly go wrong?

Plenty, that’s what.

Each catastrophe is clearly signalled. Some encourage you to laugh, others make you cringe. No cognisant adult places a book (in this case the manual) on a gas hob. When Trevor does, you know what’s going to happen next and naturally it does.

Man vs Bee is really a 90 minute feature film which has been chopped into 9 continuous episodes. Maybe because viewers need the occasional break from the ‘hilarity.’ Or maybe because it begins to wear thin after a while as we lurch from one cringeworthy blunder to the next.  Just like the bee this series is too busy. So small doses is what the doctor ordered.

Fans of Rowan Atkinson’s characters will love this latest manifestation. Apiarist will love the bee, superbly animated, with a MENSA rated IQ and an unhealthy obsession with Trevor.

Overall it’s amusing rather than funny. Atkinson is excellent as usual so worth a watch.

Review: Man vs Bee               25th June 2022

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