I’m not gonna lie, after the last week or so we’ve all endured it was therapeutic watching a 13-year-old girl straight merc a quartet of neo-Nazis.
“Becky” (available on VOD as of Friday, June 5) focuses on our titular heroine (Lulu Wilson) who’s just recently lost her Mother to cancer. Her father, Jeff (Joel McHale), is moving on from their mutual loss faster than Becky would like. He’s dating Kayla (Amanda Brugel of “The Handmaid’s Tale”) and has invited she and her son, Ty (Isiah Rockcliffe), to spend the weekend at their lake house where he intends to propose marriage.
Jeff’s plans become derailed when Becky gets bummed by these developments and bails to her fort in the woods. Matters are further complicated when a stranger named Dominick (Kevin James) shows up to their front door claiming to have lost his dog. Dominick’s intentions become clearer when he begins disparaging the mixed race couple – he’s the leader of a hate group who’s escaped from prison and is currently looking for a key within the house that’ll grant him access to the movie’s McGuffin. Dominick’s crew comprised of Apex, Cole and Hammond (Robert Maillet, Ryan McDonald and James McDougall, respectively) join him in holding the burgeoning family hostage. Their only hope for survival and/or rescue is Becky.
Wilson does an admirable job in the titular role, but isn’t given much to play aside from sadness and anger. McHale is much more earnest here than I’ve seen him before. The real headline-grabber is “The King of Queens” himself going full-on Paul Blatzi: Neo-Nazi. I’ve always thought of James as the poor man’s Chris Farley, but he proves himself to be both adept and threatening in a serious role. I wish writers Nick Morris and Ruckus (Awesome name!) and Layne Skye gave James more scenery to chew, but it’s fun to see the comedic actor dismantle his nice guy image.
The actor who impressed me most was Maillet, a giant of a man whose height is listed anywhere between 6’ 10” and 7’ 00”. Audiences will likely remember Maillet from his days wrestling as Kurrgan in the WWE or a fight sequence against Robert Downey Jr. in “Sherlock Holmes.” Apex is a horrendous human being, but Maillet convincingly conveys decency and regret that serve in stark contrast to the character’s abhorrent actions.
“Becky” has often been referred to as a Hard R “Home Alone.” There’s merit in that comparison, but the movie this most reminded me of is Steven C. Miller’s “The Aggression Scale” from 2012. That was a good flick; “Becky” is a better one. It’s lean (93 minutes) and mean (there’s eye trauma reminiscent of Eli Roth’s “Hostel”). That said, it’s also capital “S” sleazy. I dug it enough that I plan to backtrack and check out directorial duo Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion’s previous efforts, the Elijah Wood/Rainn Wilson horror-comedy “Cooties” and Dave Bautista actioneer “Bushwick.”