Review: The Forever Purge

By Christian DiMartino

A wise man once said: People killin’, people dyin’. Children hurt and you hear them cryin’. Can you practice what you preach? Or would you turn the other cheek? Father, Father, Father help us. Send some guidance from above. ‘Cause people got me, got me questionin’: Where is the love?

In the futuristic world of The Purge saga, the love is long, long gone. People are killin’, people are dyin’, and for such logical reasons, such as, “This guy has more money than me.” On a serious note, would America really turn into such bloodthirsty monsters if they had the opportunity to for twelve hours a year? That, as you know, is the premise of these Purge movies, but for whatever reason, this time in particular, the premise seemed to wear pretty thin on me. The other films might not have been good, but at least the first three were so lurid, it was entertaining. Yet with these last two, there seems to be a certain preachiness added to the absurdity, and quite frankly, all I could really think of during The Forever Purge was The Black Eyed Peas.

Something tells me that wasn’t intentional.

The Forever Purge, the fifth and (supposedly, hopefully) final Purge movie makes the mistake of giving us ridiculous ideas while also trying to spoon-feed us an important message. This series was written by James DeMonaco, and something tells me he’s gone a little in over his head the last few years. The problem isn’t what he’s preaching, necessarily, but rather, the venue in which he’s chosen to preach it. One usually sort of goofily entertaining aspect about these Purge movies is the costumes in which these Purgers cook up. This time, we have Purgers in rabbit masks, cowboy Purgers, etc. All of this is happening in the same movie that is trying to teach us a lesson about race relations in America, while also mocking the south in the most blatant of ways. Which movie did you think you were making?

Like the rest of these, the film opens on the eve of Purge Day, introducing us to the people we will be spending the rest of the movie with. Josh Lucas (aged as fine as a wine) is a cowboy with a pregnant wife, who lives in a nice house on a ranch in Texas. Obviously, these people suck, because they have money (well, that’s the way they’re painted at first). One of the ranch hands is a Hispanic, and senses that Lucas isn’t fond of him. The film also follows the Ranch hand’s wife, on another side of town. Anyways, Purge night comes, these people lock themselves in their homes, then like all Purge days, the sun rises, and everything is back to normal. Everyone lives happily ever after…

OR DO THEY?!

Turns out, these Purgers haven’t had enough. As if twelve hours isn’t sufficient enough time to rape, steal and murder, they decide that they’re not going to stop Purging, and thus, we have the Forever Purge. So naturally, our heroes are targeted, and must soon go on the run to safety. Everyone goes pretty… well, loco, and they might fight for their lives. Yet they do find an opportunity, when it’s announced on the news that the Mexican Border will be open for six hours, allowing Americans to seek refuge until America pulls itself back together. Very subtle stuff.

One thing I kept thinking about this time was, do these people have anything better to do? There comes a sequence set inside a movie theatre, where pregnant lady and the Hispanic lady are walking around with guns. They enter a room with costumes, and disguised as a mannequin, a Purger jumps out and attacks them. Was this guy seriously waiting for anyone to stumble across this room, of all rooms? How long was he waiting there for? Also, it took them five movies to decide, “eh, why should we stop after twelve hours?” Who made the decision to keep going? Was it a planned decision?

Also, the loonies in these movies… how do they go through their daily lives without committing a crime? Seriously, the maniacs in these movies, or at least this one, come across like wild animals, frothing out the mouth and ready to pounce… and yet we’re led to believe that they maintain their sanity 364 days a year? Again, I have seen all of these movies, but for whatever reason, these thoughts occurred to me this time in particular, maybe because the fatigue has officially set in.

The performances are fine, and the film does have moments of absurd amusement. Yet this is a film that beats you over the head with what it has to say, and what it has to say isn’t exactly new; it just comes across as relevant. The film runs for a little over 100 minutes, and while I have spent 100 minutes in worse ways, this still felt like sort of a long sit. Once you’ve seen two of these Purge movies (the first and the second film are drastically different), you have basically seen them all. The Forever Purge, from its title, sure sounds like a threat, especially considering this is a franchise that keeps repeating itself now, but pretends it isn’t because they switch locations and tack on messages. Having said that, this is supposedly the final film. At least if it isn’t they weren’t fooling themselves by calling it, “The Final Chapter.” When it comes to these franchises, they will milk that cash cow til its dry, and then milk it again. Don’t be surprised if we get The Universal Purge.

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