I was at a friend house when the idea of watching The Purge came out of my mouth. When I first heard of the movie I thought the idea was incredible! Then I read some reviews and I was quite confused; they were bad… However I was still very excited about taking a look at it.
Basically the story is set in a near future (2022) where once in a year, at night, for twelve hours, crime is no longer forbidden. No police, no ambulances, no help: here comes the purge. But, the purpose of this “violence-free” event, is to eliminate all homeless and poor people, so that not only the crime level decreases but also the unemployment rate, and of course the economy of the country will rise.
They call it “hunting”; every armed people going out there the n-night, are moved by only one goal, which is to find and kill the poor, just like you find and kill a dear in the forest. And it is discriminatory, as far as, poor people are belittle to the status of animals. It’s not only that they are rejected by the population and at the margin of the society, they aren’t even considered as human beings.
I wasn’t quite sure, if the movie meant to be a dystopia, but what I know, or at least what I noticed, is that James Demonaco is denunciating the violence in America, and showing the cause of this phenomenon, which is the fact that guns are allowed in the country. We are talking about a violence which keeps getting a higher and higher rate, and maybe the 12hours/years in the movie will be a solution in 9years from now.
Now, the film itself, starring Ethan Hawke married to Lena Headey ( what an awful couple they make), is very very disappointing and so obvious in many ways. The catalyzer of the catastrophic scenario, is Charlie Sandin (performed by Max Burkholder), son of a famous home security developer, James Sandin (Ethan Hawke), who wanted to save a homeless (Edwin Hodge), chased by a masked organization, who was screaming for help in their neighborhood.
Most of the actors are offering a shabby performance, and the whole atmosphere looked like a bad version of Funny Games US. Lena Headey (Mary Sandin) is the worst Naomi Watts ever, and her only good scene is at the end, when she smashed on the table the face of her neighbor (must be for sure her Cersei Lannister side), the children (Charlie and Zoey Sandin) are acting “too much” and can’t be taken seriously, the homeless guy Charlie wanted to save, Edwin Hodge has two lines in the whole movie and disappear every time… Only Rhys Wakefield, a fair Michael Pitt, has done a fine job in his psychopath role.
If we had to draw a curve, showing the thrills experienced throughout the movie, we would only see a few picks. Because, the suspense is near 0 and the script really looks like it was written by a tired James DeMonaco.
In a nutshell, the concept of The Purge deserves a strong 4/5 whereas the film itself a 2/5.