Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Purge (2013)

"One Night , All Crime Is Legal"


I finally got around to watching The Purge after not really being to interested in seeing it when it was first released last year, for awhile there was nothing but a lot of The Purge this, and The Purge that talk and a lot of people went to see it hence why we are getting a sequel The Purge:Anarchy.

So I decided to put aside my preconceived feelings towards the movie give it a watch for myself and see if maybe I had unfairly judged the movie, which I will admit a few times in the past I have done and have no problem admitting when I'm wrong about a movie being better or worst then my expectations.

Let's get to the movie so The Purge takes place in the not to distance future 2022, where society seems to have found a way to have a stable economy and also keep the crime rate down, what the law makers decided to do some time between current day and 2022 is have their annual Purge where one night every year all crime is legal (Could you imagine if this actually happened).

So it is an hour before its time for the purge as most people are either locking themselves in for the night or they are gearing up to go out and purge. James Sandin (Ethan Hawke) a security salesman arrives home and is in a very good mood not because he wants to go on a purge but because he has sold the most home security at his company and is getting a big bonus for doing so. the large numbers are thanks to him selling to all of his neighbors.

we meet the rest of Sandin's family, his wife Mary(Lena Headley) has a talk with one of their neighbors Grace (Arija Barekis) who throws a party every year during the purge, but decides to not have a party this year, son Charlie( Max Burkholder) is some what of a tech geek who has a little robot that he uses to watch everyone and everything. daughter Zoey (Adelaide Kane) is in her bedroom with her boyfriend Henry (Tony Oller) who has decided to stay at the house so that he can talk to James about his and Zoey's relationship.

As James locks down for the night with what his company has dubbed as the best home security, the family decides to got about their normal routine to pass the time, while Charlie seems to be the only one paying attention to what's going on outside he sees a man (Edwin Hodge) who looks to have been either shot or stabbed yelling for help.

Charlie disarms the security and allows him inside, at the same time as James comes down to confront the man , Henry follows him downstairs and instead of wanting to talk to James he pulls out a gun and the two have an old fashion duel, the stranger seemingly disappears and Henry is shot and dies a little while later.

The family is confused as to what is going on as to who the stranger is and where exactly did he go and also why did Henry try to kill James, but a bigger threat comes from outside when a Purge Gang shows up wearing mask, The Gang Leader (Rhys Wakefield) tells the family that the man they have taken in is homeless and the main reason for the purge and that if they return him to them the family will be spared any harm.

OK one thing about The Purge that really stands out to me and kinda pissed me off is that Charlie seemed to be the only one in the family that actually was paying attention to what was going on around them which when looked at has a message that a lot of times people seems to get to complacent when it comes to home security.

The other huge issue I had was that for the most part all of the characters in the movie are white and the outsider of the group the stranger was black, I guess they were trying to say something about prejudice and racial issues but why make him black and homeless????

I didn't want to read to much into those things but I felt watching those two things were really heavy handed but I guess since the less is more approach in films seems not to happen anymore, so I won't dwell on it to much here (Maybe)

As I watched the movies I noticed that there were a few similarities to a few other movies mainly Straw Dogs (1971) in regards to James Sandin who starts out one way but changes and becomes just as violent as his family's attackers, didn't have a problem with that, because what would you do in the same situation?

The other movie that it really reminded me of was John Carpenter's Assault On Precinct 13 (Ethan Hawke starred in the remake) where the family takes in a stranger not knowing what is going on outside or why the gang wants the stranger but finds themselves fighting to save him and themselves.

The ending almost seems to come out of left field but at the same time not really I thought the explanation as to what happens in the finale was stupid because it was their own fault that they allowed it to happen, would've been nice if one character was apart of it so they could have been more debate but it is what it is I guess.


The Purge isn't the greatest movie or really turns anything on its side which I think the filmmakers were trying to do, does it have social commentary? Yes. Is it presented in a heavy handed way? Yes I think so, I've seen the themes in this movie done in other movies much better. Is The Purge worth a watch? Yes it entertaining enough and could be looked at as a reflection of where we could go as a society because of how we are right now.

I didn't hate the movie but I didn't truly like it either, if that makes sense. anyway I am looking more forward to seeing the sequel just because that one looks to be taking it to the streets and showing more of what actually goes on out there instead of just in the nice quiet neighborhood.

So if you like movies like this then I saw check it out.



Ethan Hawke-James Sandin
Lena Headley- Mary Sandin
Max Bunkholder- Charlie Sandin
Adelaine Kane- Zoey Sandin
Edwin Hodge- The Stranger
Rhys Wakefield-Polite Leader
Arija Bareikis- Grace Ferrin

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