Movie Review – The Purge (2013)

The Purge is a 2013 film by James DeMonaco and stars Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey.  It’s a movie that starts out with a ton of potential asking big questions but soon turns into a film treading on familiar territory we have all seen before.

I liked the film, as I really enjoy the home invasion type of the horror/suspense genre, but I would have liked to see more background on how the state of America in the film came to be.  Essentially, the United States has realized that the economy was breaking, crime was non-stop and rising and something had to be done.  And someone somewhere decided that hey, man is a primitive being still – prone to violence and to go against it is to go against his being.  Which makes sense.  So one day a year, for twelve hours all laws are suspended and all crimes are viable and unpunishable without question.  Rape, murder and anything else you want to do in those twelve hours is fair game.  You don’t have to, but if you need to then the ball is in your court.  And in the film, this radical solution worked.

It is a novel idea, and in an industry where every idea has been done a dozen times, I find it refreshing.  It does, like I said raise some questions, philosophical ones mostly and would have made a different film if they were explored.  Could this work in today’s society?  If things get to such a point that it is even considered, should it be?  Is it alright for society to turn off their morals for one night a year?  If you take part, what does that say about you?

So, yes, the movie went the more formulaic route – didn’t make it a bad film – it just made it a familiar film, something you have seen many times before.  It was well done, by cast and crew.  It was entertaining and I am looking forward to the eventual sequel.  Hopefully we are shown the repercussions with the remaining cast members and explore more of what it is like to live with a thing like the Purge.

Worth watching for those that like this type of film, and for those that want to get their brain thinking about a radical concept that may or may not work in today’s world.

3.5 out of 5

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