June 28, 2020


Becky almost feels like it was made on a dare. It’s as if someone said, “Hey, let’s take comedic actors who are household names, such as Kevin James (The King of Queens) and Joel McHale (Community) together with 14-year-old child star Lulu Wilson (Annabelle: Creation), who is known for her work in horror films, and put them in an incredibly violent, almost horror-like action-thriller. What’s more, the lovable Kevin James should play a despicable Neo-Nazi white supremacist character. And let’s make the story play out like a psychotic version of Home Alone.”

If it were a dare, it was certainly a decent one, because, for the most part, Becky works. This is the story of a troubled young girl (Lulu Wilson), who is bullied at school and needs a break. Her mother only recently passed away and she doesn’t get along with her father Jeff (Joel McHale), nor his girlfriend Kayla (Amanda Brugel) and her little kid Ty (Isaiah Rockcliffe). In fact, she is angry when she finds them at their family lakefront cottage, where her father takes her to repair their relationship. She’s even more upset when Jeff tells her that he’s engaged to Kayla. Here, she runs away to her little fort in the woods where she discovers a key in a tin box with peculiar markings.

Meanwhile, the villains of the story, Dominick (Kevin James), Apex (Robert Maillet), Cole (Ryan McDonald) and Hammond (James McDougall) escape from prison, killing guards, a father and his kids along the way. They arrive at the lakefront property looking for the key, where they find Jeff, Kayla, and Ty. Being a white supremacist, Dominick is especially riled up because Kayla and her son are black. When Jeff tries to protect the missing Becky, Dominick shoots Kayla.

If you are the sort of person who looks forward to Eidul Azha every year for the butchery and the sickening gore, then Becky should satisfy

All of this takes place in the opening portion of the film. Soon begins the Home Alone part. As the antagonists of the film try to retrieve the key, Becky picks them apart in violent and bloody sequences.

For the most part, the violence is entertaining enough in a gratuitous sort of way. If you are the sort of person who looks forward to Eidul Azha every year for the butchery and the sickening gore, then Becky should satisfy. However, the action could have certainly used more creativity. In similar films from the genre, we’ve seen more surprises and more interesting deaths.

The performances are good. Playing a girl who would be a great candidate for a job as a waterboarder, Lulu Wilson delivers the right intensity as a bloodthirsty teenager. Meanwhile, Joel McHale is good in this serious role as a caring father trying to make amends and looking to unite and protect his family.

Kevin James is particularly good. He is certainly big enough to play a scary convict, and his performance as a white supremacist is quite convincing. Unfortunately, none of the characters have much to work with. The characterisation in Becky lacks depth and doesn’t give the actors enough to make their characters more interesting. Still, as a throwaway piece of low-brow entertainment, Becky is worth a watch, especially with few other new choices for film buffs at the moment.

Rated R for strong bloody violence, grisly images and language

Published in Dawn, ICON, June 28th, 2020