By now I have a serious love/hate relationship with The Purge. Dammit. My feelings toward this movie seem to mirror my feelings toward American culture generally: I like the freedom, but not the scumbags who abuse it.
Greg Palast, BBC, had perhaps the best zinger of the modern age: “Armed Madhouse.”
Installment three of The Purge is exactly what you’d expect if you’re up on the franchise. We have a dystopian satire and a straight action movie cliche-fest wrapped into one. For every plus there is a minus. So the thing hovers near zero, but leans slightly positive.
I’m talking great class war metaphor and cheesy dialogue from the school of Roger Corman or something. It’s hard to accept the narrative when it is so chock full of cliches and glaringly BAD WRITING!
Example: the “climax,” if that’s what it’s supposed to be, is indistinguishable from that of the film Commando. No more bullets. We go to knives. We bludgeon each other until there can be only one! Scintillating.
The movie telegraphs its cliches and stays in action movie 101 territory, which is a shame. The concept holds so much more potential. The Purge is one of the few Hollywood trains to score points vis a vis the class war and the predatory plutocracy we now suffer under. Class is real and called out here. The hard-working main street shlubs must confront an all-out society-wide war once a year. America is reduced to a war zone, and innocent people suffer. Elites profit, as they always do.
It’s not so different than how I feel about my own little shitty city each time I leave the front door. The producers of The Purge had the wind at their backs only to succumb to simplistic genre conventions rather than taking a chance on creativity.
Love/Hate is my verdict.