Resilience Redefined: Badass Female Vigilante
DOUBLE-FEATURE MOVIE REVIEW
Becky / The Wrath of Becky
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller, Horror
Year Released: 2020 / 2023
Runtime: 1h 33m / 1h 23m
Director(s): Jonathan Milott, Cary Murnion / Matt Angel, Suzanne Coote
Writer(s): Ruckus Skye, Lane Skye, Nick Morris / Matt Angel (written by,) Suzanne Coote
Cast: Lulu Wilson, Kevin James, Joel McHale, Robert Maillet, Amanda Brugel / Lulu Wilson, Seann William Scott, Denise Burse, Jull Larson, Michael Sirow
Where To Watch: BECKY is available to stream, rent, and buy on various platforms. THE WRATH OF BECKY will be available exclusively in theaters on May 26, 2023
RAVING REVIEW: Join us at the late-night, double-feature picture show with BECKY and THE WRATH OF BECKY; these films take us on a thrilling ride as we witness the riveting evolution of a young girl into a badass powerhouse. The movies showcase Lulu Wilson, as Becky in the lead role, breathing life into a female protagonist who is unafraid to stand her ground and claim what's hers. The films pay homage to the depth of genre films that came before while still breathing new life into them.
BECKY introduces us to a young girl grappling with monumental loss and trauma and examines the outcome when someone is pushed too far. The emotional turmoil is a life-altering event and is only further magnified when her father, Jeff (played by Joel McHale), embarks on a romantic relationship with Kayla (portrayed by Amanda Brugel), who Becky isn’t ready to accept. It seems like the family might find a semblance of stability until Kevin James enters the picture, playing the chilling role of the neo-Nazi leader Dominick, and orchestrates a brutal home invasion, catapulting their lives into chaos.
Wilson's portrayal of Becky truly shines in this film; she harnesses inspiration from her horror film pedigree (OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL, and ANNABELLE: CREATION) and shows what happens when the victim is pushed too far. Her response prompts us to question whether these dire circumstances sparked her aggressive counterattacks or if these merely manifested an innate survival instinct lying dormant. The film takes some inspiration from JOHN WICK mixed with just a bit of HOME ALONE.
Under the careful touch of directors Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott, BECKY is an unapologetic tribute to the survivalist horror genre. It has a few bumps in the road and a MacGuffin of epic proportions, but its primary focus remains to explore Becky's transformative journey.
The WRATH OF BECKY, the second act of this cinematic saga, guide us deeper into Becky's turbulent life as she seems to have gotten some much-needed help to settle down with a new family. Directors Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote take the reins, imbuing a more vengeful tone into the narrative without sacrificing the essence of the story. As per the directors' statement, they sought to "subvert the expectations" from the first film and "elevate" the character of Becky, morphing her into a vigilante symbolizing resistance against societal darkness. They managed to sneak in so many nods to modern-day issues, cleverly hidden as winks and nods throughout the film.
In this sequel, Becky seeks to rebuild her life amidst the rubble of her past, only to be thwarted by yet another wave of terror. The sequel boasts some entertaining performances from a cast including Sean William Scott, Courtney Gains, and Denise Burse. However, Wilson's reprisal as Becky, who embodies a rage-filled mix of relentless determination and defiance with a more advanced sense of focus, is most captivating.
THE WRATH OF BECKY has a few narrative bumps, but they are easily overlooked as the film is an absolute blast, amplified by the fun of a double feature. Any minor detours in an otherwise compelling narrative can be brushed off because of this film's thrill ride. As always, I would like to see it taken up a notch, but the sequel does an excellent job, so I have no complaints!
To sum it up, BECKY and THE WRATH OF BECKY spin a fascinating tale revolving around the metamorphosis of Becky in a role that Lulu Wilson was born to play. These films deliver an adrenaline-fueled blend of survivalist horror and action that will have the audience cheering for the audacious heroine. The series champions a female protagonist who doesn't merely weather the storm but fights back fiercely, an emboldening message for all viewers.
Could this be the start of a thrilling new action franchise…
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[photo courtesy of QUIVER DISTRIBUTION/RONIN FLIX]