The Purge has a very interesting concept for a near future in which crime and unemployment have dropped to record breaking lows because one night each year all crime is permitted. You might be wondering how unemployment applies to that statement, but the film will make sure you have no problem figuring it out. Basically even though we are to believe that all crime is permitted, all we see is a whole lot of murder as a wealthy family is terrorized by more wealthy people who will do anything to kill the homeless man who the son let into the safety of their home. Death to the homeless!
Had this gone more along the lines of The Strangers then maybe it would have done a little better at holding my attention, but unfortunately the film is pretty much ruined by the need to drown everyone in uninventive social commentary. It can basically be summarized as such, prepare for the run on: “Some war vet is homeless because society doesn’t do enough for people in need and all the high society, wealthy uppity ups are chasing him to rid the world of the lower class. Oh, and we’re not going to say that this is about race but we are going to cast it in such a way that there will be no doubt in your mind that race factors in.” This is nothing new, but probably could have been forgiven had it not been so in your face.
Time for more run on thoughts: “Look what we did there with all this murdering that is awesome enough to make you cheer for death while you’re disgusted with the people in the movie cheering for death, but it’s ok because it’s self defense so you aren’t really awful people for enjoying all the murder (but really you are an awful person).” I will admit that I was one of the people cheering for the home invaders to get the justice that is lawfully acceptable (though it doesn’t need to be this night) and there were some really cool action beats coming out of the cast with great members, including Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey. That ax girl got what she deserved, that’s for sure. But this isn’t enough to make up for the level of annoyance I found myself at while watching.
If I could grade this film solely on the action and scenes around the dining room table then it would get a solid B even with the predictability in consideration, but unfortunately it is too bogged down in the importance of having something to say that it removes itself from being an enjoyable experience. Which is a shame, because I was really looking forward to this one. Oh well, there is still You’re Next. See my Trailer Breakdown for that here.
Final Grade: D Follow @BewareOfTrees