I am sort of going to get lost in a rant here so bear with me. What a f%#king disappointment! More of a disappointment than The Hangover Part III. The Purge had all of the elements lined up to be a great movie but failed to follow through. The trailer was interesting coupled with a plot that was original sparking that one thought that has crossed everyone’s mind, “Could I actually murder someone if I had to?”
The Purge Synopsis:
In the not so distant future of 2022, America’s crime and unemployment are at an all-time low. This is due to the annual Purge, a 12 hour period once every year where all crimes are legal even including murder. The Purge comes with certain restrictions leaving high-ranking members of our government exempt as well as only allowing a certain class of weapon to be used. During the Purge, all medical and emergency services are off duty and cannot be contacted.
James Sandin (Ethan Hawke) has made his fortune selling high-priced security systems to homes who want protected from the annual Purge. These expensive systems are typically purchased by a higher income bracket meaning Sandin’s neighborhood is typically one unaffected by the Purge. During the Purge Jamesâ€™ son Charlie (Max Burkholder) takes pity on a helpless, pleading stranger outside (Edwin Hodge), temporarily disarms the security, and lets the man in. Only one issue, this man is being hunted by a group of rich kids who had this man chosen as their victim for this year’s Purge. If the Sandin’s do not turn over the stranger, the rich kids will also kill James, Charlie, Jamesâ€™ wife Mary (Lena Headey), and their daughter Zoey (Adelaide Kane).
When I saw the trailer for The Purge for the first time, I was extremely excited. It immediately reminded me of the movie The Strangers but set in a utopian-like future where crime almost did not exist. Great start trailer, you sparked my interest. The trailer sold me on the sizzle but now it was time for the steak and that steak was dry.
If you watch this movie without any preconceived notions of what will happen next, you might actually enjoy it. If you actually pay attention to the movie from the start, it’s pretty easy to figure out what will be happening next. The only element this movie left out of the foreshadowing was the word, foreshadowing. I am implying as if they could have wrote the text on the screen with how blatantly obvious their foreshadowing attempts were. [Mild Plot Spoiler] Oh hey strange neighbor that has an unnecessary speaking part and is discussing a bitter topic while smiling like the housewife from the Black Hole Sun video…… wonder if that will come full circle?
The Purge used cheap and overused Hollywood style shock effects to try to get a rise out of the audience. It was poorly done. One great effect in The Strangers was how effortlessly the strangers themselves stood in the shadows stalking their prey. You see Liv Tyler alone standing in an empty room waiting for the return of her husband not even noticing the man behind her watching her from the shadows. The Purge tried to recreate that same effect multiple times and failed miserably.
A complete crap and overused effect in The Purge is the build up to a main character kill who is magically saved last second by an unknown entrant to the room. This happens to just about every character in the movie, if you cannot figure out that it’s coming then again, you fit into that demographic who will enjoy this flick.
I did however like the killer rich kids. The so-called leader of the rich kids is played by Rhys Wakefield and he did an incredible job as that character. The masks, outfits and carefree spirits about murder keep an interesting feel to the movie the whole way through. Some crumby camera techniques are added to the movie using the security monitors trying to add fear and terror to the story but it only succeeds in being a great visual element.
Adelaide Kane who plays the daughter, a hot little actress this flick has now introduced me to made me an instant fan. And that also goes for Max Burkholder who plays her younger brother. Lena Headly is amazing in every role she plays, the only actor I had an issue with was Ethan Hawke. Not due to his acting but instead due to the fact that he keeps on looking more and more like Kevin Bacon. I actually spent half the movie thinking he was Kevin Bacon. It’s as if Ethan Hawke has some sort of Benjamin Button disease and is slowly turning into a weird version of Kevin Bacon.
If you go and see The Purge, let me know your thoughts. Comment below or hit me up!