At the beginning of the new action thriller BECKY, we meet two very strong, opposing characters. Becky (Lulu Wilson), a plucky teenager mourning the loss of her mother, and Dominick (Kevin James) a brutish neo-nazi in prison. The two will not only cross paths unavoidably, that much is fully apparent. Boy, do they. In what is easily one of the best genre movies of the year so far, writers Nick Morris, Ruckus Skye, and Lane Skye along with directing duo Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion present a crackling smart yet surprisingly simple battle of wits while satisfying the gore quotient and ticking off a few boxes in the crime caper genre as well.
Becky and her father Jeff (Joel McHale) arrive for a weekend at the lake house for some father/daughter time. Oh, but daddy invited his new girlfriend Kayla (Amanda Brugel) and her son Ty (Isaiah Rockcliffe) along. Meanwhile, Dominick and his band of thugs have escaped prison and are heading for the same family lake house for an item in the house worth thousands. After hearing of her father’s plans to remarry, Becky flees into the forest with one of the family dogs for alone time. That’s when the criminals arrive and take the family hostage, looking for the special item. After realizing what has gone down, Becky not only steps up to the plate to outwit the criminals holding her dad hostage, but she gives these clueless felons a run for their money.
As was stated, this script is smart. Morris and Skye’s leave no detail unaddressed. These criminals are sharp and focused in what they are pulling off. Within minutes they make quick work of outsmarting and overpowering the three left in the house and quickly discover that one more kid is still outside somewhere. The plot unfolds like a convoluted Chinese puzzle filled with nasty little surprises. When Becky does turn the tables you may have the urge to suddenly question things, but the groundwork done to make sure things were believable up to that point is so good, you go with it. Milott and Cary Murnion also handle the material with a sharp and efficient pace. The situation that we are expected to buy into and go with needs the right hand to guide it and we are kept very grounded.
Of course, everything falls on the shoulders of Wilson who plays the title character and warrior adolescent. First noticed by horror fans as the lead in Anabelle Creation, Ms. Wilson again proves her screen presence and her ability to hold a movie. There is a particular gift she has for letting us know that there is more going on than meets the eye. This is not something that can be taught. James also turns over a new more menacing side that is as surprising as it is fun. This ain’t Paul Blart. This is a vile, child-murdering Nazi who will stop at nothing to get what he wants.
Yeah, I dug BECKY a lot. This is the perfect drive-in movie type of flick. One that isn’t complex, yet smart enough to entertain those paying attention.
Becky opens today nationwide and is playing special engagements at Drive-ins across the country.
Rating: 8 out of 10 stars
|Runtime:||1 hr 40Mins.|
|Directed by:||Jonathan Milott, Cary Murnion|
|Written by:||Nick Morris, Ruckus Skye, Lane Skye|