Starring: Lulu Wilson, Kevin James, Joel McHale, Amanda Brugel, Robert Maillet
Directed By: Jonathan Milott, Cary Murnion
Licensed By: Vertigo Releasing
Release Date: 28th September 2020
Becky is a rebellious teenage girl, full of grief and anger following the death of her ill mother just a year ago and the current actions of her father in announcing his new engagement. With the reality of a new family dynamic in front of her and the shocking news that her much loved family home by the lake now has to be shared with her mothers’ replacement – Becky storms off to her hideout. Whilst all this family drama is unfolding, a group of escaped prisoners have made their way to her front door. The murderous convict Dominick (played by the well known comedic actor – Kevin James) stops at nothing in order to recover his hidden loot – a key that will unlock everything he was worked towards for the Neo-Nazi Brotherhood. With the devil and his minions now at Becky’s front step – this is the perfect opportunity for her to release all her bent up anger in some masterful killing sequences.
This is perhaps the first time Kevin James has ever played such a serious role, and right in at the deep end by portraying a Neo-Nazi convict no less! Kevin is known for his numerous appearances in both TV and Film playing the leading role or within the main cast of countless comedic productions. The most I ever saw him be serious and put up a fight was in 2012’s ‘Here Comes The Boom’ when he dons the boxing gloves in order to raise some much needed funds for a school music programme. ‘Becky’ is an entirely different ballgame, James certainly brings his A-Game to this role and shows the audience that he can do much more than play the ‘funny guy’. Not once in his role did he show weakness or regret, instead he stood his ground with his characters’ twisted ideals and went full force, holding nothing back in order to get a hold of his ‘key’. It’s a shame he picked the entirely wrong weekend to break into this house!
The main star of this film and incredible young talent is Lulu Wilson, who plays the demonic Becky. At just 14 years old, she already has an established film career having started back in 2012. Her most well known roles include playing Marian in the Sharp Objects mini TV series and the young version of Shirley in the Haunting of Hill House. For me, it was her role as Diana and Rikers’ daughter Kestra in Star Trek: Picard. This young lady certainly has a bright career ahead and has already demonstrated what a wide variety of characters she can bring to life. I had such compassion towards Lulus’ character Becky at the beginning of the film, and did in fact completely disagree with the way her father handled the situation in regards to announcing his engagement. Unfortunately for Becky, that conversation was not the worst thing to happen to her that night as the senseless violent rampage began and this little ‘chipmunk’ turned into a killer. Her fierce anger, mindset and imaginative killing techniques, remind me a lot of X-23 (Laura) in the final Wolverine movie: Logan.
There were a number of recognisable cast members in this film that I wasn’t expecting to see. We had actor Joel Hale playing Becky’s father Jeff, most people would remember him from the TV show ‘Community’. For those of us that just happened to watch all of ‘Tiger King’ at the beginning of Lockdown, would definitely have watched the follow up episode where Joel interviewed several former employees of Joe Exotic’s zoo after the success of the Netflix show. Joel’s acting in this film was spot on, his characters actions however were shocking at first, but he later redeemed himself when he went head to head against the convicts. We also had Amanda Brugel paying Kayla, the new woman in Jeff’s life. Her portrayal of a protective mother was Oscar worthy, as she made sure to always protect her child from harm and even managed to hide the truth about Becky’s identity at the beginning of the film. We also have the very recognisable Robert Maillet playing Apex, one of the escaped convicts. Built like a brick house and towering over every one of the cast members, at first glance I knew it was the same actor from the very iconic fighting scene in the boat yard against Robert Downey Jr in Sherlock Holmes back in 2009. To this day, those fight scenes have stood the test of time. Would you also believe that Robert is a former WWF Wrestler! He performed under the ring name Kurrgan back in the late 90s and is in fact 7ft tall! Thankfully his acting lived up to his onscreen presence, hopefully we’ll be seeing more of him in the future.
So we have intense action scenes, some imaginative killing tactics that although have been taken from several different films, still managed to leave a massive impact. Followed by great suspense, shocking blows and story twists, as well as some downright brilliant acting from the cast. Then we have the plot – this I had several issues with. Sure enough for some reason in the past, our master criminal managed to store away a very intricate looking key in a bit of brickwork in the foundations of a house. As to why that particular location – no idea. What was the key supposed to open – still, no idea. The big plot was to find the key and what were they actually going to do with it – yeah, still clueless on that one. With zero information on how Dominick actually ended up in jail, what his connection to the Neo-Nazi’s was and what the inevitable goal would be, that still remains a mystery. I don’t know if this film was supposed to be entirely from Becky’s viewpoint, but even if they added like another ten minutes of backstory – this would have been a much better film!
It’s a film that you either love it – or wish you didn’t waste the last 90 or so minutes on. Also the backing track only got good in the last 20 minutes, but thankfully the action scenes made up for that. It’s definitely not a film to go see in the cinema, but is probably still just above a TV film. Worth a watch even just for Kevin James and Lulu Wilson’s acting performances. Here’s a bit of movie trivia for you, Simon Pegg was announced to play the role of Jeff back in 2019. But due to scheduling conflicts, the part was later recast to Kevin James. Just imagine how different this film would have been otherwise!