Review by Cole Groth
With only moderate critical praise and an unfortunately timed release at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020’s Becky receiving a sequel is certainly a surprise. With more laughs, gore, and an even shorter runtime than its predecessor, fans of the original will adore The Wrath of Becky, but for those who didn’t like the original, this one won’t win over many new fans.
The Wrath of Becky picks up several years after Becky. Since the titular heroine (Lulu Wilson) killed a gang of Nazis in revenge for the killing of her father, she’s been placed in multiple foster homes but escapes every time to live in the wilderness with an older woman (Denise Burse). Her life is interrupted after a group of dickish alt-right shitheads break into her house and wreak havoc, forcing her to resort to the bloody revenge she took in the previous film.
Lulu Wilson’s performance as Becky is undermined by a somewhat unbearable script. She’s menacing, funny, and awe-inspiring as a young spirit with a knack for hunting. She’s perfectly opposed by incredibly annoying performances from Seann William Scott, Michael Sirow, and Aaron Dalla Willa as the pricks she has to kill. You will despise their characters by the film’s end, a testament to their excellent acting ability.
As mentioned before, the biggest weakness of the film is the screenplay. Every character is unlikable — even our protagonist being a grating presence in an already frustrating film. She operates with a bothersome teenage angst that’s annoyingly unrealistic and has an eye-rolling amount of edge. The bad guys this time around are so irredeemable that it seems like their dialogue was written by a very smug writer who wanted to live out a fantasy of killing a bunch of neo-Nazis. That's not to say that the fantasy is a bad thing — it just limits the characters to caricatures.
Where the script is lacking, the production department makes up for it with some killer gore. The deaths are more shocking than last time and are a fun combination between Home Alone and Saw. The intense fun of Becky hunting down the villains is rewarded with glorious action. Fans of horror will have much more fun with the sequel because of how much grander it is than the previous installment, and the kills are much better.
While plenty of other, much better, films could’ve received sequels, it’s nice to know that even smaller projects can get started on a franchise. If this is as successful as the ending wants it to be, we might be watching the beginning of a Becky franchise. The Wrath of Becky is a bit of a failure as a screenplay but isn’t a bad way to kill 83 minutes. Revenge fantasies like this operate on their satisfying conclusions, and though it’s a messy adventure, Becky racks up a few great kills in a somewhat overindulgent yet entertaining film.
The Wrath of Becky releases in theaters on May 26.
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