Some of this might be little more than a sad commentary on our age but given the prevalence of things like school or public shootings, we’ve had to take a more prepared step in countering these developments. Back in the 1970’s and 1980’s, such events were commonplace in drive-in restaurants or workplace settings (if you believed the nighttime news broadcasts), and – having lived through that era as well – I can attest to the fact that each of us in our respective minds’ eyes tried to conceive of such a danger, what we might do about it, and whether or not we could assist our fellow man. Hollywood has even gotten in on the act, churning out crowd-pleasing fare like First Blood (1982), Die Hard (1988), or even the vastly darker The Strangers (2008) … all variations on a formula that pitted the rugged individual against an oppressive force of evil that required a “come to Jesus” moment as a catalyst against senseless cruelty.
While Becky (2020) isn’t likely going to start a trend of pre-pubescent do-gooders going toe-to-toe against some homicidal maniacs, I think it’s still a damn effective piece of storytelling exploring much of the same substance. Clearly, this young lady has had to push herself to the limits of what’s possible (or probable) in such dire circumstance. While the flick may fall short so far as realists are concerned, those behind it might take comfort in knowing it’s still a nifty little piece of bloody work for those of us who don’t turn away from the controversial, the unnecessary, or the downright subversive.
You go, girl. You go.
(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and/or characters. If you’re the type of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I’d encourage you to skip down to the last few paragraphs for the final assessment. If, however, you’re accepting of a few modest hints at ‘things to come,’ then read on …)
From the product packaging:
“Spunky and rebellious, Becky is brought to a weekend getaway at a lake house by her father Jeff in an effort to try to reconnect. The trip immediately takes a turn for the worse when a group of convicts on the run, led by the merciless Dominick, suddenly invade the lake house.”
There’s a catharsis that goes along with reconciling the loss of a loved one that rarely – if ever – really aligns itself from stories of the youngest among us. Most of this is probably owed to the fact that children aren’t screenwriters, so the adults in the room are vastly more comfortable in crafting fare that traffics in their own age group. Kids – it would seem – are always depicted as far more resilient anyway, and given the reality that their lives are just beginning perhaps the yarn-spinners in Hollywood and beyond are simply content with letting them go with the flow?
Into this cinematic opportunity comes Becky (played by Lulu Wilson). Clearly, the kid is not all right, so much so that she’s sheltered herself away from daddy dearest (Joel McHale) after a vicious battle with cancer claims the life of her mother. Seeking to reconcile with his daughter on the cusp of wedding Kayla (Amanda Brugel) and bringing her young son Ty (Isaiah Rockcliffe) into his life, Jeff seems to be moving very fast … and that’s when reality rears its ugly head(s) in the guise of four escaped convicts who’ll stop at nothing to recover a mysterious key that’s gone missing at the central lakehouse.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I’ve absolutely no problem admitting that I had a helluva lot of fun with this one. The storytellers achieve just enough cohesiveness to this back-to-basics carnival attraction of a young whippersnapper eeking out one win after another over some nasty ne’er-do-wells. No, it may not be all that believable – seeing how Becky takes a solid hit to the chest from one of the screen’s physically biggest guys around (Robert Maillet, in a great role) and can still get up to walk it off not long after – but that’s the sheer vicariousness of a good thrill ride in action. There’s not a wealth of realism any where in any of this … and that’s okay. You’re meant to cheer our young lady of action, and – in that respect – this is about as lean and mean and obscene as audiences expect.
If anything, Becky does devolve into a modestly predictable ending – sorry, I won’t spoil it – and I expected a bit more from something that toyed so openly in areas other filmmakers likely wouldn’t experiment with. After all, you’ve given her a serious blood lust, so why not let her take credit for all of the kills instead of – ahem – relying on a bit of fortunate assistance? It isn’t as if the audience will be paying for her psychological evaluation after … will we?
Becky (2020) was produced by Yale Productions, BondIt Media Capital, Boulder Light Pictures, and a host of other contributors. (For a complete list, you can check out IMDB.com.) DVD distribution (for this particular release) is being coordinated via Ronin Flix. As for the technical specifications? Though I’m no trained video expert, I thought the accompanying sights and sounds to this feature presentation were all quite good. As for the special features? This Special Edition release should please fans of the project as the packaging boasts several featurettes exploring the behind-the-scenes efforts as well as an audio commentary with talent and crew. It’s definitely a nice assortment.
My opinion of this might be in the minority, but I thoroughly enjoyed this grim, psychological revenge picture for what it was: Becky (2020) is probably not going to embraced by all, but fans of the cinematically subversive might want to check this out. Granted, it still lacks a degree of realism some who think and write about film might aspire to, but that’s chump change … especially when the narrative focus is a ‘tweenager’ going hellbent apesh#t on some would-be attackers in her moments of blood rage. Yes, it’s imperfect. Yes, it’s missing a bit of pragmatism. Yes, a few moments might be hard to swallow. But any film that has Kevin James losing an eye can’t be all that bad … can it?
In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to disclose that the fine folks at Ronin Flix provided me with a complimentary Blu-ray of Becky: Special Edition (2020) by request for the expressed purposes of completing this review; and their contribution to me in no way, shape, or form influenced my opinion of it.