Becky (2020)

I feel like I usually have a fairly good idea on what a movie is about just from the premise. Not specifically every twist and turn, but for the most part I can watch a trailer and figure out if the movie’s going to be a trainwreck or not. And I absolutely expected Becky to be a disaster. All you have to do is look at Mr. Kevin James and the swastika tattoo on the back of his head! Paul Blart as a neo-Nazi, trying a serious role? Bound to be a disaster. So imagine my surprise when this movie was not only not bad, but actually kind of good…

The movie is told in a flashback while Becky is being questioned by some cops. In the meat of the movie, Becky is taken to a family cabin in the woods by her dad, played by Joel McHale. Okay, we have a thriller starring comedians, sure. The dad’s name is Jeff, by the way, making me think he went to Glendale Community College. Anyway, Becky’s mom died of cancer some time ago, so this trip away was for her dad to say that he’s asked his girlfriend, Kayla (Amanda Brugel from The Handmaid’s Tale), to marry him. While this is happening, Kevin James is playing Dominick, a neo-Nazi who manages to escape from prison with a few of his goons. They’re looking for a key with a valknut design on it, but the film never fully explains why they want it. But they’ll do just about anything to get it, including murdering children! Off screen, but still. Things come together when Becky finds the key in her mom’s stuff right as Dominick takes her dad and his girlfriend hostage. Her dad dies trying to protect her, setting Becky off on an R-rated Home Alone style quest of vengeance. She has some help from neo-Nazi henchman Apex (Robert Maillet) who is shaken up from killing those kids earlier, and draws the line when Dominick is prepared to kill Becky. But after the leader gets his head mowed off, Becky returns Apex’s kindness with a bullet to the brain. You’re still culpable, asshole. Kayla and her son also survive, which was a little surprising since they are black and were being held captive by some white supremacists. The movie ends with Becky faking memory issues while holding on to the key. To be continued in Becky 2: The Wrath of Becky.

No, that’s actually happening. Featuring Sean William Scott as the leader of a fascist group. This burgeoning franchise is wild.

I think I’m actually willing to say that this was a fairly good movie? It still sounds so fucking weird to me, in part because “I liked the movie where Kevin James plays a Nazi” is admittedly a worrying thing to say, so let’s not phrase it like that. But he was a very talented and competent actor in the role, giving off this sinister energy that unnerved all of us. But as much as I love Joel McHale, he wasn’t a good fit. Naming him after his Community character was the first big misstep, and the rest was… mid. He was fine, but he wasn’t a good fit for this. Like, when he was being tortured and was screaming in pain, all I could think of were all the times in Community where he suffered and screamed the exact same way.

So, uh… yeah. Kevin James is a good actor. I feel weird, now… I’m going to go lie down.


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