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The Wrath of Becky Review

May 23, 2023 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
The Wrath of Becky Image Credit: Quiver Distribution
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The Wrath of Becky Review  

Directed by: Matt Angel & Suzanne Coote
Written by: Matt Angel
Story By: Matt Angel & Suzanne Coote

Lulu Wilson – Becky
Seann William Scott – Darryl
Denise Burse – Elena
Jill Larson – Darryl
Michael Sirow – Anthony
Aaron Dalla Villa – DJ
Matt Angel – Sean
Courtney Gains – Twig

Image Credit: Quiver Distribution

Running Time: 83 minutes
Rated R for strong bloody violence and gore, pervasive language and some sexual references.

In the midst of the pandemic lockdown, Becky emerged as a cinematic hero to battle the boredom. The 2020 home invasion action thriller became an unexpected buzzy film, and Lulu Wilson solidified her place as a genre star in the titular role. Wilson had a lawnmowing good time as the young girl who found herself fighting off neo-Nazi prison escapees who attacked her family in search of a mysterious key, and the final scene teased that perhaps the story wasn’t done.

Three years later, Wilson is back as Becky in the appropriately titled sequel The Wrath of Becky. Taking cues from Kill Bill and Taken and adding them to the original film’s chemistry, the sequel (which arrives in theaters on Friday) takes a tonal shift toward a more comedic tone while still providing plenty of the fascist-killing fun the first movie had to offer.

The sequel is set three years after the events of Becky, with Becky herself having literally escaped the foster system. She is renting a room from an elderly woman named Elena (Burse), who tolerates Becky’s survivalist practices but also plays Scrabble with her while reciting things to be grateful for that day.

Things come to a head when, while at her job as a waitress, Becky encounters three incel-esque douchebags from a militia group known as the Noble Men. After a bad encounter, the three attack Becky and Elena in their home and kidnap Becky’s beloved dog Diego. That sets Becky on a path of revenge and dog rescue, leading her to the home of Darryl (Seann William Scott), the ostensible leader of the group, where the carnage begins to unfold.

Image Credit: Quiver Distribution

The Wrath of Becky has a new creative team behind it in Matt Angel & Suzanne Coote, who take over as directors and story writers from the original directing team of Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion. (The first film was written by Nick Morris, Lane Skye, and Ruckus Skye.) And it’s clear from the get-go that this is a different film from the original, with a wry wit and irreverent attitude coloring the more serious tone of the original movie.

Wrath veers into splatstick a couple of times; where the first felt like an R-rated Home Alone, Wrath contains a couple moments that feel like Looney Tunes as directed by Quentin Tarantino. It’s just as violent as the first film, but often in a funnier fashion. The tonal shift services the film well. We already know what Becky is capable of from the first film, and we’re here to see her unleash violence on irredeemable bad guys.

And when I say irredeemable bad guys, I’m not overstating. When we first meet the initial trio of Noble Men, they’re walking into a diner and tell a clearly under-18 waitress that she has a stripper’s name and they want to have sex with her mom. And things only go downhill from there for most of them. There’s no nuance to Becky’s adversaries, nor should there be in this case. Becky isn’t necessarily looking to make political commentary; it wants to tell a bloody and occasionally funny revenge story, and it does it well.

Much like Becky, Wrath relies on a lean, stripped-down narrative and excels by finding the fun in the revenge/rescue story. However, some plot threads are woven in that are pretty clearly set-up for more in the Beckyverse. The mysterious key sought by the neo-Nazis from the first film is back for a few scenes to remind people it’s around. There’s similarly a larger scope to the Noble Men that seemed primed for later films, which comes into deeper play in the final act with a wild plot twist. It’s a wild swing, but one that works because Wrath is setting up the transition through its tonal and plot introductions.

The supporting cast is fine here. Seann William Scott follows in Kevin James’ Becky footsteps by playing against comedic type as the leader of the Noble Men. Like James, he plays it straight and mellowed down, making Darryl scarier than he would be if he went manic. Sirow, Villa, and Angel are perfectly fine as the trio who kick off the carnage, and Denise Burse adds some emotional heft early on as Elena. Everyone understands the assignment and do their parts.

That said, this is clearly Wilson’s film and she makes the most of it. After her strong performance in the first film, she takes Wrath as an opportunity to show more range. Becky has become a bit sociopathic at this point (perhaps understandably, all things considered) and Wilson is able to portray that without losing the character’s charm, likability and humanity. As a character, Becky is someone I would have no problem following to the next entry – and I’m excited to see how wild it gets and what death-deserving assholes Becky takes from here.

The Wrath of Becky releases in theaters on May 26th.

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
The Wrath of Becky follows the bloody fun of its 2020 predecessor with more of the same, adding a delightfully twisted dollop of humor in for good measure. Lulu Wilson shines once again in the lead role, and new directors Matt Angel & Suzanne Coote add a few fun directions to the straightforward narrative. The formula is simple but it's executed (pun intended) with precision, making for a joy of a rescue and revenge film that cements Becky's status as a 2020s cinematic badass.

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The Wrath of Becky, Jeremy Thomas