Casting comedian and all-round nice guy Kevin James as a brutal Nazi shot-caller in Becky is a stroke of genius.
With a fully-fledged beard and giant swastika tattoo plastered on the back of his skull, James takes to his first bad guy role with such relish that it’s a surprise nobody’s cast him in a similar role before. The King Of Queens and Adam Sandler regular is front and center as Dominick, an escaped convict on the hunt for a hidden key. Joined by fellow Nazi’s Apex (Robert Maillet), Cole (Ryan McDonald), and Hammond (James McDougall), the quartet arrives at the location of the key to find the house it’s hidden in occupied by a family of four.
Dad Jeff (Joel McHale) has brought his daughter Becky (Lulu Wilson) to the cabin they used to holiday at before Becky’s mum lost her battle with cancer. Also arriving is Jeff’s new love interest Kayla (Amanda Brugel) and her son Ty (Isaiah Rockcliffe). When Becky discovers the two are set to marry, she flees into the nearby forest, angry and hurt by her dad’s decision. Things go from bad to worse when Dominick and his crew arrive and take the family hostage, quickly discovering 13-year-old Becky has made off with the coveted key. Threatening to kill her father if she doesn’t return with key in hand, Dominick and Becky embark on a bloody game of cat and mouse as the bodies pile up and the film hurtles towards its violent climax.
The film’s premise is slightly ludicrous but earns points for originality. Writers Nick Morris, Lane Skye, and Ruckus Skye have crafted a violent revenge thriller film offering fantastic performances from its leads and enough eye-covering deaths to keep fans of the torture-porn genre intrigued. The unexplained reason for Dominick wanting the key is a nice touch and a great use of the McGuffin concept. Directors Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion, who co-directed Bushwick (2017) and Cooties (2014), don’t have much to do other than shoot the action and capture James’ nastiness but prove themselves capable of helming this type of B-movie fare.
Becky herself is resourceful and determined as she stages a one-woman war against the Neo-Nazi group, using everything from a ruler to a motorboat propeller to take out her enemies one by one. The violence isn’t for the squeamish, with eyes being chopped off and copious amounts of blood splattered throughout the 100-minute runtime. The three screenwriters have obviously taken inspiration from classic horror/revenge flicks The Last House Of The Left (1972/2009) and I Spit On Your Grave (2010), making sure every death is more violent and bloody than the previous.
Lulu Wilson embodies Becky with a ruthless streak as she turns into an unstoppable killer. While it’s hard to believe the dramatic change from bullied schoolgirl to murderous femme fatale, Wilson does a solid job as Becky, especially when taunting Dominick via walkie-talkie. McHale offers enough as Becky’s dad Jeff, and former professional wrestler and man-mountain Maillet plays the sympathy card as conflicted child killer Apex, but it’s James who’s the star of the show. Along with the shock of seeing James playing against type, his intense performance as the brooding Nazi with a temper is mind-blowing. A standalone Dominick film showing how he turned into a Nazi and what led him to be incarcerated is warranted. It’s easily one of his best performances and hopefully, it means we’ll see him playing these types of characters more often.
Becky won’t win any awards but it’s an entertaining revenge flick with fantastic performances from leads Lulu Wilson and Kevin James.
Simon Pegg was originally set to play Neo-Nazi Dominic but was forced to drop out due to scheduling conflicts.