In the year 2022, America is flourishing. Crime rates and unemployment are at all-time lows. Once a year for a 12-hour period called, The Purge, all crime is legal – anything goes. The rationale behind this annual mayhem is that citizens are able to act out their craziest and most criminal desires. All the pent up hate accumulated can be unleashed in one night as a sort of cathartic release – thus eliminating crime for the remainder of the year.
The Purge’s concept is an interesting and terrifying one when one really sits down to think about it with all it’s ramifications. With all that kept in mind, it really doesn’t seem like something that is very likely to occur in western society – even if it is 10 years from today – I just can’t see something like this going down. What happens once that 12-hour period is over? Wouldn’t more crime and violence occur as a result of The Purge? Families, friends, lovers – all looking for revenge afterwards? That’s a very likely consequence of The Purge. The film doesn’t really explore that at all – maybe in the sequel all those questions will be explored.
Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey star in The Purge. Hawke was serviceable as the father and defender of the household, but really his performance can be seen in any other number of Ethan Hawke-led movies. Headey on the other hand, was a real standout. It was refreshing to see her in a role where her character isn’t a completely evil bitch. She really made me forget her Cersei character from Game of Thrones, and that’s something!
There were some problems with the plot, of course, but really, some of what they were trying to pull off was not easy within the setting the story takes place in. As irritating as it was to watch how stupid one of the children characters was in this, it was rather necessary to get all the craziness going in the story. There were some satisfying moments in this movie, which I was not really expecting to see considering some of the scathing reviews it has gotten out there.
What it all boils down to is this: The Purge is a thought-provoking concept that at the very least will make you think, and can make for some rather interesting conversations with others who have watched it. For this reason alone, I do feel it is well worth watching. As far fetched as some of the things that happen in it are, The Purge does offer some entertainment and well executed scenes that will easily thrill regular folks going out to the movies – not so much for long time fans of hardcore horror, and thrillers, but still reasonably engaging.
I do look forward to the sequel, which has already been green-lit, I believe. The subject matter at hand and the ideas that may spring from it, are intriguing. Hopefully they can pull something off and don’t just go for the same exact formula used in this one, with the only difference being a different cast.
This is something I wouldn’t recommend you run out to go and see, but I would recommend you watching it on demand or better yet – on netflix in the future, if you can.