When Becky made its way to digital platforms in June 2020, the global COVID-19 pandemic overshadowed the little action-thriller as it did everything else. No one was thinking about movies amidst the peak of the pandemic and certainly not small indie thrillers. But Becky and its mix of exploitation, gruesome practical effects, and willingness to put its young character in danger struck a nerve with B-movie fans. In particular, Lulu Wilson’s ‘Becky’ instantly elevated the basic premise with her mouthy, no-nonsense rebel. Now three years later and The Wrath of Becky arrives on digital platforms following a limited theatrical release. Apparently, critics are enjoying the addition of more dark humor to this sequel.
Three years ago, 13-year-old Becky fought off and brutally killed the gang of neo-Nazis who murdered her father. Drifting from foster home to foster home, the rebellious teen finally finds some peace settling with the elderly Elena. But a group of far-right extremists, the Noble Men, arrive and shatter that peace. After ruthlessly murdering Elena, the men take Becky’s dog, Diego, and leave the young woman unconscious. When Becky wakes up, she stocks up on weapons and prepares for another bloody war to get her dog back.
The Wrath of Becky Keeps the Revenge, Tones Down the Intensity, and Adds Some Welcome Dark Humour
From its opening scene and credits, writer and directors Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote (The Open House) (along with original Becky writer, Nick Morris) detour slightly from the original’s tone. While Becky was intense and often deadly serious, The Wrath of Becky embraces the pulpy nature of its subject matter. That is, the sequel relishes more in a dark comedic tone immediately evident when Becky meets her first set of comically naïve foster parent. The comic book style approach to the credits, catching audiences up on Becky’s last three years, further establishes the sequel’s more cartoonish tone. As it turns out, the tonal shift elevates a sequel that could have mindlessly recycled what worked the first time around.
…the sequel relishes more in a dark comedic tone…
In fact, The Wrath of Becky is in many ways a superior sequel. Perhaps the sequel loses some of the first movie’s intensity. However, Angel and Coote keep their sequel running trim, wasting little time with setup. They know audiences are here to see Lulu Wilson’s ‘Becky’ dish out exploitation-style justice. And the sequel delivers on the wildly over-the-top gory moments of revenge. If there’s a complaint about the action – which is well choreographed – it’s that the body count feels a bit truncated. Yet it also feels right to adopt a more sly tone to appropriately mock its onscreen stand-ins for Proud Boy misogynists.
The Wrath of Becky Continues Lulu Wilson’s Transition to Most Unlikely Action Hero
Yes, The Wrath of Becky delivers on exactly what fans of the first movie will want to see. But it’s still Lulu Wilson who’s the best thing about this sequel. Even though she’s only 18, Wilson already has amassed an impressive set of genre credits that include The Haunting of Hill House, Ouija: The Origin of Evil, and Annabelle: Creation. A few years old and a bit wiser, Wilson’s ‘Becky’ is still a sharp, rebellious ‘hellraiser’ who is an absolute scene-stealer. Due to Wilson’s portrayal, it never feels like much of a stretch to believe that Becky can dish out this kind of punishment. Just some of Wilson’s facial expressions alone help nail the sequel’s tonal shift.
But it’s still Lulu Wilson who’s the best thing about this sequel.
In the original Becky, Kevin James had an opportunity to ditch his comic roots and embrace a darker characters. The results were largely successful. For the sequel, Seann William Scott (Bloodline) continues a slow transition to more serious roles. As compared to Kevin James, Scott’s more successful at the shift giving his Noble Men villain a quiet sense of intensity and menace. It helps that ‘Darryl’ somewhat mirrors the latent misogyny embedded in American Pie’s ‘Stifler’, the role that made Scott famous. Consider ‘Daryl’ to be the ominous outcome for Stifler ‘dude bros’.
The Wrath of Becky Will Leave You Hoping For a Trilogy Capper
Maybe it’s not a bad thing if the worst complaint about The Wrath of Becky is that you wanted more mid-act carnage. Doubling down on everything that worked with Becky, Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote successfully compensate for following the same blueprint and ramping up the dark humor. If the body count feels small, the kills are still over-the-top gruesome. Following on Kevin James’ turn as a villain, Seann William Scott continues his slow career rehabilitation – he’s quietly intense and menacing. But we’re here for more of Lulu Wilson and she’s an absolute blast to watch. Hopefully, we get that teased trilogy capper.