Sunday, March 3, 2024

“THE WRATH OF BECKY”

THE STORY – Two years after she escaped a violent attack on her family, 16-year-old Becky attempts to rebuild her life in the care of an older woman — a kindred spirit named Elena. However, when a violent group known as the Noble Men break into their home, attack them and take their beloved dog, Becky must return to her old ways to protect herself and her loved ones.

THE CAST – Lulu Wilson & Seann William Scott

THE TEAM – Matt Angel (Director/Writer) & Suzanne Coote (Writer)

THE RUNNING TIME – 83 Minutes


Becky” was one of the many films that met the unfortunate fate of falling into the collective black hole that was the 2020 release calendar. However, it made enough of an impact to warrant a sequel. While “Becky” is a self-serious but over-the-top violent revenge flick, its follow-up, “The Wrath of Becky,” smartly leans into a more sarcastic, humorous tone that nicely complements its brutality. It marks a significant step up from its predecessor.

Young Becky (Lulu Wilson) has had to learn to grow up fast after watching her mother succumb to cancer and neo-Nazis viciously murder her father. And while she got her revenge on the killers, she’s clearly haunted by her sad, bloody past. Luckily, she’s found an unlikely companion in Elena (Denise Burse), the elderly woman with whom she lives. But when right-wing extremists shake up her somewhat-peaceful existence, she once again finds herself on the path of revenge.

Although the tone is decidedly more ridiculous than the first film, that doesn’t mean that the villains – which is to say, nearly every character besides Becky and Elena – are lacking in menace. Seann William Scott makes for a truly scary ringleader of the extremist group, wisely injecting some of his movie star charm into the terrifying character to show why others might flock to him in the first place. However, one of his followers named Sean (played by the writer/co-director Matt Angel) is a bit more hesitant to fully subscribe to the beliefs of their group, the Noble Men. The film depicts his indecisiveness with some sympathy, which helps to bring nuance to the film, but does somewhat muddy the ethos behind Becky’s plan. She pointedly wishes to bring the names of every member of the Noble Men, even those not shown in the film, to the authorities. The character of Sean undercuts this perspective and brings a bit of confusion to the otherwise straightforward film.

Wilson makes for a perfectly compelling central figure. She brings a level of glee to her character’s penchant for violence, which allows the audience to have even more fun watching her tear-through representations of the worst scum that threatens our country. She’s something like a cross between Carey Mulligan’s character in “Promising Young Woman” and John Wick, and the brutal killings and maimings she executes are unendingly enjoyable to watch. The special effects department clearly had a great time putting together some of the gore effects – in particular, a moment involving a crossbow is sure to evoke a vocal response from viewers.

“The Wrath of Becky” is a quick and definitely-not-painless exercise in cinematic brutality. It makes up for what it lacks in occasional narrative clarity in pure bloody entertainment. Who doesn’t want to watch some wannabe insurrectionists get what’s coming to them? Well, perhaps some of you don’t, in which case, please reexamine your moral priorities, or Becky’s gonna get you.

THE RECAP

THE GOOD - The intentionally ridiculous tone, coupled with some wickedly fun moments of violence, helps make this sequel superior to its predecessor.

THE BAD - The characterization of one of the villains nearly undoes the clear, straightforward "good guys vs. bad guys" approach the film otherwise takes.

THE OSCARS - None

THE FINAL SCORE - 6/10

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Cody Dericks
Cody Dericks
Actor, awards & musical theatre buff. Co-host of the horror film podcast Halloweeners.

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<b>THE GOOD - </b>The intentionally ridiculous tone, coupled with some wickedly fun moments of violence, helps make this sequel superior to its predecessor.<br><br> <b>THE BAD - </b>The characterization of one of the villains nearly undoes the clear, straightforward "good guys vs. bad guys" approach the film otherwise takes.<br><br> <b>THE OSCARS - </b>None <br><br> <b>THE FINAL SCORE - </b>6/10<br><br>"THE WRATH OF BECKY"