Becky review – stroppy teenager turns tables on neo-Nazi thugs | Film

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If Wes Anderson ever decided to make a violent home-invasion thriller, you could imagine him writing a character like the teenage hero of this nasty, occasionally effective, movie jointly directed by Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion. Becky is a stroppy 13-year-old with blue-streaked hair and quirky-cool thrift-store clothes whose instinct, when faced with the choice of flight or flight, is to fight like Nicolas Cage on high-grade amphetamines. Up to a point she’s an interesting character, but her crazed badassery is laughably over the top, even for the genre.

Lulu Wilson is nicely deadpan as Becky, lip perpetually curling into a smirk. When four neo-Nazi white supremacists knock at the front door, Becky has stomped off in a huff. Gang leader Dominick (played with not nearly enough menace by Kevin James) has a swastika tattooed across his shaven head and is creepily mild-mannered; Robert Maillet, an actor who looks like a genetically modified Viking, is his knucklehead sidekick Apex. These guys have broken out of prison and now they’re looking for a key hidden in the house – a storyline that goes nowhere. After tying up her family, they head into the woods to find Becky.

At this point the screenplay does something mildly interesting. What you are expecting is a survival movie – Becky running into the woods quaking with fear. Instead she fights back. First, she warns the goons to run: “That fat one looks like he needs a head start.” Then she turns into the world’s meanest girl scout – hiding out in her den whittling pencils into homemade daggers. The lesson here is don’t mess with the inner rage of a teenage girl. But Becky’s crazed kills get more and more gimmicky, and there’s nothing in the script to indicate what has turned her into a pint-sized death-dealer.

Becky is available on digital platforms from 28 September.

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Source: The Guardian
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