THE WRATH OF BECKY (2023)
Release Date: 05/19/23 [Cinemas]
Genre: Action. Horror. Thriller.
Studio: Quiver Distribution.
"Two years after she escaped a violent attack on her family, Becky attempts to rebuild her life in the care of an older woman - a kindred spirit named Elena. But when a group known as the "Noble Men" break into their home, attack them, and take her beloved dog, Diego, Becky must return to her old ways to protect herself and her loved ones."
OUR MOVIE REVIEW:
In 2020, at the height of the pandemic, a small indie film by the name of Becky was released. As if having Kevin James playing an antagonistic neo Nazi wasn’t a big enough draw, it was revered by critics for being an R-rated homage to Home Alone. The film sees the titular character, a rebellious teen, try to enjoy a quiet weekend with her father at a remote lake house. When a group of criminals arrive and kill her father, however, she is forced to fight them off by whatever means necessary. The film was not an awards contender, but it was good. While it worked great as a standalone project, like most items in Hollywood these days, it spawned a sequel.
Now, regardless of how unnecessary as its follow-up The Wrath of Becky is, there’s no denying that it’s just as entertaining. Lulu Wilson returns to the titular role - older, wiser, and still scarred from the events of the first film. This time around, she finds herself entangled with a sleeper cell of white supremacists planning an insurrection.
Similar to its predecessor, there is a lot of build up to the main event. When we are first reacquainted with Becky, we learn that she has been bouncing around the foster care system. Through an animated opening credits montage we see where her travels have taken her and all the personal training she’s undergone to prevent herself from ever being a victim again.
When the film finally settles on the present day, we learn that Becky has taken refuge with an older woman named Elena. She’s the closest thing to a parent Becky has had in years. Close to finding peace and feeling at home once, after a chance encounter with three undercover fascists, however, it’s all ripped away from her again. So begins her wrath.
Lulu Wilson is incredible yet again as the sarcastic and sadistic teenager. Unlike the first film, this one provides a wider dialogue between her and the audience. She’s no Deadpool, but she unapologetically breaks the fourth wall and even shows the audience what she really wants to do to some of the film’s villains, even when she doesn’t have the means to do it. For a character with such little dialogue, in a situation where she has no one to talk to, it’s so much easier for the audience to understand how she’s feeling and why she chooses the kind of violence she does.
Similar to the first film, this one also takes a well-known comedic actor and has him play against type. And the result is just as riveting. Seann William Scott is excellent as the leader of the “Noble Men," a hilariously obvious parody of the real-life alt-right group the Proud Boys. While he isn’t the reason for Becky’s woes this time, he is directly connected to those who are. And as she descends onto his compound seeking revenge, he naturally has to take action.
Having spent a majority of his career as the comic relief in so many films, not only is it refreshing to see him try his hand at something serious. His performance will make you wonder whether he should have been pursuing more dramatic roles in the first place. There’s one chilling monologue he delivers to one of the other Noble Men over the course of the film. Without giving too much away, it single-handedly establishes how dangerous his character is before Becky even arrives.
Now, the film does follow many of the same beats as the first one, but so did Home Alone 2. There aren’t as many traps as the first film, but the pain that our antagonists feel is pumped up to 100 and the experience isn’t any less enjoyable. Where the film does falter a bit is in the third act. There’s another character introduced into the mix that feels a bit forced. And when all is said and done, the film tries to set up future installments in a way that makes absolutely no sense. That’s saying a lot considering how exaggerated all the violence is.
Overall, The Wrath of Becky is both a by-the-books revenge thriller and sequel, but it’s a bloody blast. With so many other big budget franchises in the pipeline this summer, this one is just as deserving of your attention.