Matt Angel’s and Suzanne Coote’s THE WRATH OF BECKY is just okay. It is a serviceable film with some decent gore, but it has some ideas you have already seen before and indulges in a trope I am not particularly fond of.
Here’s a synopsis: 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 their home is broken into, and they are attacked by an extremist group known as the “Noble Men,” Becky must return to her old ways to protect herself, her loved ones, and her country.
On the plus side, the actors are all doing decent work, with Sean William Scott, Courtney Gains, and Denise Burse as the standouts. At first, I did not recognize Scott because his character is so off-putting and so mean. Good job! Lulu Wilson does hold down the role of Becky pretty well and gives her the requisite steeliness and contempt. Is it fun watching her dump a cup of coffee into a wanna-be insurrectionist’s crotch? Yes, it has a kind of pleasant 9 to 5 / Kill Bill vibe. But that’s also kind of the problem.
Did THE WRATH OF BECKY entertain me? Yes, and I think that more films with insurrectionists and fascists getting theirs are never a bad thing. It’s just that the film has a lapse of logic at a critical moment, recycles some gags from other films, and kills off a person of color early in the film.
The lapse of logic is when the Neo-Nazis have Becky at their mercy, and they neglect to kill her for some reason that I cannot identify. I watched the scene twice, and it just didn’t make sense. The only real reason they don’t is that Becky is the central character, and if they did, the movie would be over, and Becky would just be a typical teenager. Maybe they didn’t because they didn’t want to blow their Neo-Nazi cover, but they had already killed one person, why not kill the other. They literally went there to kill her.
They use the hand grenade in the mouth idea, which is not new but was done better in the recent film, The Sadness.
They kill off the sympathetic person of color to spur Becky on to a new vengeance spree. I thought we might be past that, but we aren’t. It’s disappointing that they felt they needed to do that to build a rapport with the character and give her a reason to go on another rampage. She’s BECKY, she’s going to kill Nazis; that’s already been established.
One more quibble, they do the cool character gets ready to kill scene where she straps weapons on with sound effects, and it was another trope that I didn’t think added anything that worked for me to the proceedings. Some people might like it, especially if they aren’t overly familiar with genre films of this type. I just didn’t.
Verdict: would I turn THE WRATH OF BECKY off if it came on streaming and I was working on something? Probably not. Would I go out of my way to watch it again? Probably not.
THE WRATH OF BECKY had its world premiere at the 2023 SXSW Film Festival. Make sure to read our SXSW coverage here.
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- [SXSW Review] THE WRATH OF BECKY - March 12, 2023