‘The Wrath of Becky’ Review: Teenage Riot
Continuing the vigilante adventures of its teen-drifter namesake (Lulu Wilson), “The Wrath of Becky” (a sequel to “Becky” in 2020) finds her once again doing battle with far-right knuckle-draggers.
It has been two years since neo-Nazis killed her father, and Becky and her canine companion, Diego, have burned through several foster families before washing up in the home of the kindly Elena (Denise Burse). Now 16, Becky works as a diner waitress, plays Scrabble with Elena and fantasizes about slicing the throat of a sexist customer. All she needs is an inciting incident, and here, on cue, come the Noble Men, a clump of white supremacists and would-be insurrectionists, who violently attack Elena and make off with Diego. If “John Wick” taught us anything, it’s never, ever harm the dog.
Directed by Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote, “The Wrath of Becky” follows the rote rhythms of the revenge thriller as Becky, done up in red boiler suit and blue nails, follows the men to a cozy farmhouse and eavesdrops on their racist plans. The subsequent slaughters are inventive, the pacing lively and the cat-and-mouse structure entertaining; but the rodents themselves are — aside from their suave leader, played by Seann William Scott — such misogynistic morons that Becky’s predominance is never in doubt.
Considering the current swarming of groups like this, “The Wrath of Becky” should at least have given us chills. But the movie’s almost jokey treatment of its slobbering incels, combined with Becky’s comic posturings, hemorrhage the tension. Wilson, however, is consistently terrific, and deserves more thoughtful material. If there is to be a third film, the ending of this one suggests she might get it.
The Wrath of Becky
Rated R for disgusting dialogue and dripping brain matter. Running time: 1 hour 23 minutes. In theaters.