Combustible Celluloid
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With: Lulu Wilson, Kevin James, Joel McHale, Amanda Brugel, Robert Maillet, Ryan McDonald, James McDougall, Isaiah Rockcliffe
Written by: Nick Morris, Ruckus Skye, Lane Skye
Directed by: Jonathan Milott, Cary Murnion
MPAA Rating: R for strong bloody violence, grisly images, and language
Running Time: 93
Date: 06/05/2020

Becky (2020)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Teen Rager

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This bloody, grisly thriller is, in some ways, well-crafted and entertaining, but in other, crucial ways it neglects its characters, and, more than once, it crosses a line and goes a little too far.

In Becky, strong-willed teen Becky (Lulu Wilson) is still getting over the death of her mother, when her father (Joel McHale) decides to take her to their lake house for the weekend. But her father has a surprise. He has also invited his girlfriend Kayla (Amanda Brugel), and her young son (Isaiah Rockcliffe).

Then, he announces at dinner that he and Kayla want to be married. Becky storms out to her treehouse to sulk. Meanwhile, four dangerous prisoners, led by Swastika-tattooed Dominik (Kevin James), have escaped and are on the loose. They're looking for something that Becky has, and they're not afraid to take out anyone in their way.

Co-directed by Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion (Cooties, Bushwick), Becky is basically a Die Hard-type story, with one loose cannon disrupting a well-planned criminal effort. It's very satisfying to see the lead character, a small thing with her with big, blue eyes and her fluffy puppy-dog hat, never hesitating and fearlessly dispatching all of the bad guys, even if they're twice (or even three times) her size. And the movie manages just the right pace to provide thrills and shocks.

But due to its faults, it tends to leave a sour aftertaste. Becky leaves a few too many questions about its characters, such as how long Becky's father waited to start dating and to think about marriage again. Also, who are the three thugs that go along with Dominik and why do they follow his orders? Basically, the connections between characters are tenuous, and even Becky — who is constantly angry at her father — seems disconnected from everyone but her dog.

Finally, while the violence in the movie is strong, death is a little too casual. The lives of major characters — and even animals — are ended without much fanfare, and it feels like this movie sometimes goes past entertainment and just to the edge of cruelty.

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