Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Review: "Becky" is the blood-soaked adult edition of "Home Alone."

Becky Review
Imagine, if you can, a blood-soaked version of "Home Alone." Where Kevin McCallister is a teenage girl instead of a little boy and instead of playfully toying with the Wet Bandits, this female version kills her home invaders. In the most brutal fashions possible I might add. If you can imagine that, you've pretty much nailed down what "Becky" is like. 

Lulu Wilson plays Becky Hooper. Becky is a girl who is normally bullied at school. Her father (played by Joel McHale) and Becky have a strained relationship ever since her mother died. Her father also happens to be a former white supremacist. They go to their family lake house for a weekend to try to smooth things over. The problem is her father has brought her girlfriend, and they announce that she won't be a girlfriend anymore, she's going to be his fiance. Meanwhile, a group of Neo-Nazi's lead by Kevin James' Dominick (yes, THAT Kevin James) break out of police custody and head for the lake house. There is a key that Becky finds while she ran out of the house mad from the fiance news, and Dominick and his crew need the key.

Dominick and his crew break in and subdue Becky's family. Becky is hiding in the woods. All the Neo-Nazi's want is the key. But Becky is not willing to give it up. While knowing her family is being held hostage, she sees no other way around fighting her way back into her home. And boy, is she savvy about it.

How did Becky become this savvy? We never really find out. That may annoy some viewers. Sure, there's lip service to her father's former time as a racist. Sure, there are is lip service to how she is treated at school. Sure, there is lip service to her pint-up rage given everything that has happened to her up to this point. Still, it doesn't really quite explain how a pre-teen demolishes hardened career criminals with a genuine amount of ease. Maybe Kevin McCallister was a bad example. She's more like Bryan Mills; a certain set of skills that makes her very dangerous. How she acquired those skills is the mystery that is never solved. 

Also, if you are wondering the significance is of the key, you will also again be disappointed. The key is nothing more than a McGuffin, to get the bad guys to the lake house and set them at odds against Becky. Again, there is plenty of mysterious chitter-chatter around the motives and the needs of the characters, but everything is left so ambiguous that I wonder what the point of all of it was.

Still, if you were wondering if Kevin James can play a convincing evil-doer, please don't worry. Kevin James comes alive the same way that his colleague Adam Sandler did in "Uncut Gems." It's a spontaneous great performance we would have never expected from the comedic actor. I don't know if this group is deciding to turn a new league (I still can't wait to see Chris Rock in "Fargo.") but whatever is inspiring this is working. And Lulu Wilson...whoa!

If you are in the mood for a bloody revenge thriller, and if you really need to see some racists die horribly as a form of catharsis, "Becky" will more than likely fit the bill perfectly. Just expect action non-stop, nothing important or innovative.

FINAL GRADE: B+

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