Warning: this review contains spoilers. Like the revelation that this shit-tier film should be avoided at all costs.
The Purge. What an inspired idea for a film. “For one night a year all crime is legal.”
Seriously… just wow. You will not read a better tagline all year.
For sheer nihilistic simplicity, The Purge is a thing of beauty. Imagine the fun to be had with such a brutally dystopian premise:
LA, 2022. The night of The Purge. City blocks are in lockdown, while in the projects all hell is breaking loose: bruthas droppin’ bruthas. Pimps beating hoes. Tweakers robbing dealers. Cops dodging rocks. It’s just like any other night in the hood – only tonight it’s all legal.
12 months of pent up rage, butthurt and frustration unleashed in one night of savagery.
Moar violence. Moar thieving. Moar gore.
Fuck yes, count me in. I’ll have two tickets for The Purge please. This shit is gonna be tight yo.
Hang on, wait a sec. Something’s wrong here. I’m staring at the ticket and it’s telling me this thing’s a 15. A fif–teen. You’re telling me all crime is legal and yet this film’s a 15? That’s seriously mild mate. What sorta crime are we talking about here – intellectual property theft? Failure to separate waste and recyclables?
There’s more: we’re five minutes into this movie and I ain’t seeing no city on lockdown. In fact I ain’t seeing none of the shit I was promised: no riots, no whilin’ and no gangbanging.
All I’m seeing is a house. A big house, admittedly, but that’s all, and it’s situated in that notorious criminal breeding ground – white suburbia.
I don’t get it.
Exorcisms should be set in suburban houses. Rom coms should be set in suburban houses. But on the night when all crime is legal you’re telling me we have to spend it here? Damn, I was hoping for some action. Does this mean I’ll miss seeing five-oh turn cold? Or skyscrapers getting the 9/11 treatment? No nukes pummeling into Disneyland?
As the film progresses, things get stranger. And I don’t mean unsettlingly eery strange – I mean WTF AM I LOOKING AT?! strange. Come to think of it, I don’t mean strange at all – I mean shit. Porcelain-staining, U-bend-lingering shit. That sorta shit.
You know that trope where the bad guy’s about to pull the trigger and you hear a bang but it turns out to be the hero appearing from nowhere to drop his punk ass?
Yeah, that happens in The Purge. On five separate occasions. It’s as if the scriptwriters just gave up halfway through.
“Jim, I’m starting to think we shouldn’t have set this thing in a fucking house.”
“Yeah, me too. Trouble is, the deadline’s in three days. We ain’t got time to rewrite.”
“Yo, wait up, I think I have an idea….”
I could rant about The Purge some more, and you know what? I think I will because I haven’t even addressed its most heinous sins. Like the woeful characterisation, which ticks off every cliche in the book (a phrase which is also a cliche).
- Conservative douchebag father: check.
- Retarded airhead mother: check.
- Sulky yet pieceable daughter: check.
- Feral black guy who turns out to be pretty cool black guy: check.
Only Rhys Wakefield, who plays the Heath Ledger-esque Henry, emerges with any credit from this lolocaust of a movie.
Shitty plot twists and none-dimensional characters aside, the worst thing about The Purge is its paucity of vice. ALL crime is legal and yet the only transgressions we witness are assault and murder. No one robs. No one kidnaps. No one rapes.
I never thought I’d lament the lack of rapeage in a film (to be honest, I’m not a rapey kinda guy), but really?
The most memorable line in the film – and by ‘most’ I mean ‘only’ – is uttered by the mother, who makes it through the movie without dropping so much as a ‘Damnation’ before inexplicably snarling: “We are going to spend the rest of this night in motherfucking peace!”
For that line alone, The Purge almost warrants viewing. It must surely be the first time the words ‘motherfucking’ and ‘peace’ have been used next to one other. Ever. In the history of mankind. You see, you get your regular peace, and then there’s your motherfucking peace, which is like normal peace but, well, more motherfuckin’ peaceful. You feel me?
The Purge may be a metaphor for the US healthcare system (the rich stay safe while the poor get pwnd), but then again it could be a metaphor for the Wonderbra cleavage: a device that looks promising but turns out to be crushingly disappointing.
I thought I was pissed about the NSA pinching my metadata, but then I went to see The Purge and suddenly the government’s malfeasance didn’t seem so bad.
#SurviveTheNight runs the hashtag for The Purge. I survived. Just. But it was a close run thing. There may be one night a year when this film isn’t criminal, but it certainly wasn’t tonight.
Purge this movie.
stupid serious stuff like this.