America's third political party, the New Founding Fathers of America, comes to power and conducts an experiment: no laws for 12 hours on Staten Island. No one has to stay on the island, but $5,000 is given to anyone who does.
In an America wracked by crime and overcrowded prisons, the government has sanctioned an annual 12-hour period in which any and all criminal activity-including murder-becomes legal. The police can't be called. Hospitals suspend help. It's one night when the citizenry regulates itself without thought of punishment. On this night plagued by violence and an epidemic of crime, one family wrestles with the decision of who they will become when a stranger comes knocking. When an intruder breaks into James Sandin's (Ethan Hawke) gated community during the yearly lockdown, he begins a sequence of events that threatens to tear a family apart. Now, it is up to James, his wife, Mary (Lena Headey), and their kids to make it through the night without turning into the monsters from whom they hide.Written by
When the security barriers are lowered, it is suggested they are solid inch-thick steel. There is not enough clearance from the tops of the windows and the awning for solid plate steel or track rails. See more »
[siren to signal the end of the Purge]
Now get the hell out of my house.
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The Purge! An annual event in which criminal acts, including murder, are permitted by the government thus allowing all good American citizens to 'cleanse' themselves of their negativity and hatred without fear of consequence. What a great premise for a film!
Sadly, the potentially thrilling idea is poorly executed across the 1 hour and 25 minutes of this first in a series of films. Its main downfall is its predictability. I won't go as far to call them 'twists' because the plot is painfully straightforward but you will certainly see the two big plot points coming before they occur in the later part of the movie. The casting and acting varies from adequate to weak, but then the characters themselves are overly generic and uncomplicated.
I guess the real draw of The Purge was supposed to be its violent scenes, but even then it does nothing new, exciting or shocking. I can't help feel that in the hands of another Director/Writer the concept could have been something very thrilling indeed but since there are a couple of sequels, maybe the next in the series might deliver? Maybe a future instalment will take a deeper look at the moral implications of the annual event? Or, more likely, they will just be repeats of the same idea in varying locations. I shall see.
The Purge then; great idea but ultimately forgettable. Not badly filmed, mildly entertaining in places but overall a bit of a missed opportunity. 5/10
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