The Wrath of Becky

06/12/2023 11:56

Film: The Wrath of Becky

Year: 2023

Directors: Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote

Writers: Matt Angel

Starring: Lulu Wilson, Seann William Scott and Denise Burse



This is a movie that when I saw it was coming to the Gateway Film Center, I figured I needed to see the original. I heard good things about it but missed it the year that it came out. This was a horror movie coming to the theater, so I made it a point to support it. I was also curious where they would go with this sequel.

Synopsis: two years after she escaped a violent attack on her family, Becky (Lulu Wilson) attempts to rebuild her life in the care of an older woman. But when a group known as the 'Noble Men' break into their home, attack and take her beloved dog, Becky must return to her old way to protect herself.

Now what I will say is that synopsis helps fill in the backstory and get us up to speed. The only other thing is that Becky goes to a foster home and escapes into the night with her dog, Diego (Pac Williams). The credits are given to us over cartoons and drawings which also help to fill in other parts. That is until Becky ends up with Elena (Denise Burse). She gave the younger woman a ride and then allowed her to rent a room. They've made an unexpected friendship.

Becky trains every day and works at a local diner. It is there that she encounters the group from the synopsis. They're led by Sean (Matt Angel). He brought with him Anthony (Michael Sirow) and DJ (Aaron Dalla Villa). Anthony doesn't fully know what they're doing in town, outside of going to a rally put on by Senator Hernandez (Gabriella Piazza). They're going to protest. Sean is going for more though. Closer to him is DJ, who is a loudmouth. This trio has a run in with Becky, who drops a cup of coffee on Sean. He is irate, for good reason. He also wants to punish her for it.

That night, she is awoken by a noise. When she goes to investigate, she is held at gunpoint by DJ. She tries to get free and get help from Diego, but Sean knocks the poor animal out. Anthony doesn't understand what they're doing. Elena steps in to help and this sets events into motion. She is killed, Becky is knocked out and when she comes to, her dog is gone. Becky suits up and looks for these guys, only having the name of Darryl to go on. There are only two in the area and the first is an old woman, played by Jill Larson. The other is out in the middle of nowhere, with the 'Noble Men' flag flying.

Becky recons the area. She sees that inside there is the trio she met along with Darryl (Seann William Scott) and Twig (Courtney Gains). Since she is outnumbered and the odds are against her so she needs to set up a plan to isolate and dispatch. It once again helps that her adversaries underestimate her. She also learns something about an item she has been carrying since her last ordeal that gets revealed.

That is where I’ll leave my recap and introduction to the characters. Where I want to start is that a big thing for me is continuity since I’m a story guy. I like where this one picks up from the events of the previous one and it fits. My gripe is that I think we have a different dog. I could be wrong there. If that is the worst issue for a sequel, then I can forgive.

Where I’ll then go is that it is wild to me that we are building a woman protagonist that is in the vein of Schwarzenegger or Stallone. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen that, but it isn’t as common to have someone as young as she is. She was 16 years old in the past, if memory serves, and that makes her 18 here. I don’t think she is quite yet, but close enough. Since that ordeal, she trains in the art of survival. It is a bit unbelievable to have something like this happen again. I will say though that she brings it on herself by dumping the coffee on Sean. That comes off as victim blaming. It isn’t my intent though. She doesn’t put up with anyone’s grief and I appreciate that. I do feel that Wilson is great in this role. She embodies it and owns it.

Having fleshed out my thoughts on the titular character, let me go over to the villains. This one might bother people in how political it goes. What I like here though is that if this offends you, then you might be the problem. The ‘Noble Men’ are a spoof of the ‘Proud Boys’. This is a group that considered to be terrorists in our fictional world. The commentary here is how deeply they’ve infiltrated the police and government agencies. What I also like here is that we see normal people getting caught up in it. Anthony is having second thoughts as he doesn’t realize what their plan is. The tension is good here with how uncomfortable being in the presence of Darryl and Twig is. I also love it when Becky goes after them, we see their true colors as well. I’ll credit here to Sirow, Dalla Villa, Scott, Angel and Gains as our main villains.

I’m going to shift over to what I have issues with. A minor one is this happening to Becky again. This won’t be something that I knock down my score for. I can even buy another group underestimating her and she gets the best of them. It might have worked better to tie in that first group to this one, but that doesn’t hurt it either. This goes a bit too whimsical for me and there feels like plot conveniences. The ending also made me roll my eyes. I’d be fine with seeing another movie and Becky’s adventures as she goes into a full Rambo character. I could have done without it though as well.

Since I’ve gone through most of the cast, I’ll go into the performances. Larson was funny in her role and how it plays in later. Avoid the Internet Movie Database page as it spoils it. Williams was good as the dog. I would have liked them to utilize him more as it feels like a tease. Other than that, Alison Cimmet, Derek Gaines, John D. Hickman and a cameo by Kate Siegel were solid. They helped round this out for what was needed.

All that is left is filmmaking. The first thing is the cinematography. I thought that it was good. We get cool shots. The framing works here. Pulling in the effects, they keep with the comic book motif with graphics on the screen. I do think that they lean into this a bit too much and that comes back to whimsical nature. Again, not enough to ruin things. It just takes me out of it. They also use dream sequences a couple times. It is set up that she has violent fantasies, but I don’t know if we need that as it feels cheap. The effects though do go brutal, I love that. The soundtrack also works for what was needed.

In conclusion, this is a fun follow up to the original. We get more in the same vein while also developing the character of Becky farther. I think that Wilson does great in this role. The rest of the cast around her is good. There is also relevant commentary that I think will turn people off, but it fits the times. It also makes this movie a time capsule. I like what they do with the effects and the cinematography. I do think the whimsical nature and where this goes in the end makes it a bit farfetched. This is a fun, shut off your brain movie though for sure. I’d recommend this to horror and non-horror fans alike, especially if you are of a certain political persuasion.


My Rating: 7 out of 10