The Purge

Posted by admin On June - 16 - 2013

Bad Company: Thanks to horribly repetitive horror/suspense films, not every one in America may be proficient at handling disaster drills but no one in this country will hide under the bed during a break-in.

In the tradition of nihilistic not-so-distant future satires the Purge, a right wing American act to deal with interpersonal conflict, legalized manslaughter for 12 hours and somehow that release of aggression has eliminated crime and unemployment for the next 364 days of the year. Ethan Hawke, played James Sandin, an unscrupulous home security salesman who celebrated the Purge like it was the Christmas holiday. Business for home security systems against invaders was never better for those who could afford them. To further draw parallels, the day was commemorated with blue flowers that harkened back to the tradition of putting out poinsettia plants on Christmas. While James Sandin and his wife played by Lena Headey acknowledged the Purge, they were not participants. They chose to stay home, protected by their security, divorcing themselves and their kids from the psychotic, senseless slaughter outside their door. When his naïve son offered shelter to a homeless man fleeing a hunting party during the Purge, the successful suburban American family faced an unpleasant moral dilemma: Sacrifice the homeless man marked for death and guarantee their families lives but lose their dignity and children’s respect. Save the homeless man and take their chances with their lives at stake.

James DeMonaco, director of Assault on Precinct 13 (2005) and The Negotiator is no stranger to Mexican Standoff scenarios where every one with a motive is a threat and no one can be trusted. The build up tension was well played until the siege had begun and the participants were put in motion. From that point, the film steadily de-evolved into a level of predictable, repetitive stupidity more reminiscent in schlock horror but without the dark humor. Missing from the carnal stew was a few slices of well placed socio-political dark humor that director Paul Verhoeven delivered in Starship Troopers and Robocop. Without the humor the story became too concentrated in one area and the film unraveled quickly and clumsily. Still there was just enough with the enticing premise to warrant a sequel where one hopes the morning after the Purge, the writer/director explain how they prevented soaring health care costs and call outs.

As a result, the Purge could have been that bargain worth 5 times its value. Instead, it really was a $4 beer special sold at market price.

Cheers,
Ron

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