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Review: The Wrath of Becky (2023)

The Wrath of Becky (2023)

Directed by: Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote

Premise: A sequel to 2020’s Becky. Two years after the events of the first film, Becky’s (Lulu Wilson) dog is abducted by members of a militia group. Becky’s mission to rescue her dog is complicated when she discovers the militia members are planning a terrorist attack.

What Works: The Wrath of Becky sees the return of Lulu Wilson in the title role. Wilson projects intelligence and violence in a way that makes her a fascinating screen presence and the character she has created is unique. Following the casting of Kevin James as the neo-Nazi leader in the first film, the sequel enlists Seann William Scott as the militia leader. Like James, Scott is primarily known for comedy and although he isn’t nearly as threatening or surprising as James was in the first film Scott does get a chance to show a different set of acting skills. The Wrath of Becky is primarily a rescue story with the title character out to save her dog, which is her last connection to her deceased family. The captive pet puts something concrete at stake in the story.

What Doesn’t: The Wrath of Becky is nowhere near as interesting or as provocative as the first film. It’s helmed by different directors and The Wrath of Becky lacks the energy and interesting filmmaking choices of its predecessor. The violence is not imaginative in conception or execution. More critically, The Wrath of Becky loses sight of what made the first film so interesting. Becky introduced a teenage girl who was irritable and mean; she was not a likable character but she was forced into a heroic position when her family was attacked by murderous neo-Nazis. The tension between Becky’s psychopathic disposition and her apparent heroism was interesting and made the first film a unique action picture. In the sequel she has just become another avenging killer. Not much in The Wrath of Becky makes sense. The character is established as a survivalist with a keen sense for combat. It makes no sense then that she would sneak around the woods outside the militia headquarters dressed in a bright red jumpsuit. It’s also unclear why Becky cares about foiling the terrorist plot. She’s a psycho and most interested in settling her own scores. There’s an opportunity for growth with Becky finding her calling as a lone avenging killer but none of that is done here. She has no character arc nor does she grow as a killer.

Bottom Line: The Wrath of Becky is a disappointing sequel. It has none of the edge that made the first film so compelling and subversive. This character had the potential to go in interesting directions but The Wrath of Becky is neither visually nor conceptually inspired.

Episode: #951 (June 4, 2023)