To push the crime rate below one percent for the rest of the year, the New Founding Fathers of America test a sociological theory that vents aggression for one night in one isolated community. But when the violence of oppressors meets the rage of the others, the contagion will explode from the trial-city borders and spread across the nation. – Universal Pictures
The First Purge is the fourth film in the Purge franchise, I thought there was only three so good on them for making four movies. This a prequel film showing how the purge itself originated. The First Purge was directed by Gerard McMurray and written by James DeMonaco.
I’ve seen the first Purge, I remember thinking it was decent? I like Ethan Hawke. Didn’t see the other two, didn’t even know one of them existed. The trailer wasn’t that bad for The First Purge and with the new AMC Stubs-A List I figured why not go see it. I really had no idea what to expect, I know the critic scores aren’t so great for these movies but audiences usually enjoy ’em so, I saw it. It’s not bad. It’s no A Quiet Place but it is far from the Snowman and was actually a bit of fun.
Like the title of the film suggests, this is a prequel, showing the first purge. This movie is very much influenced by the current political climate and at points was a bit too heavy handed and shoved it down your throat. I’m not very political so I didn’t care but I’m sure it might bother others. The whole idea around the purge is a bit ridiculous, I don’t understand how any government could think it is a feasible idea to benefit society but whatever it’s a movie. One thing I will say is the way the events played out seemed quite realistic to me. This isn’t a spoiler because it is in the trailers but at first not many people are really purging, which makes sense because most people don’t want to kill people. So, when the shadowy government people find out about that they hire mercenaries to liven it up. In doing so it makes people think other people are purging and thus eventually making the idea of purging social acceptable. This movie does a good job of setting that up and it all makes sense now, I guess.
This movie isn’t a very good horror movie at all and when it tried the horror stuff it didn’t really work. I’m pretty sure the franchise has moved away from horror which is cool because as an action movie this movie is quite entertaining. Once all the set-up is out of the way this movie became a fun action movie. It eventually become a society versus the government all-out war, and it was compelling to watch. The action was surprisingly choreographed quite well, it was a bit goofy but I just think that because it came out of nowhere. The action was bloody, gory and shot in an over the top stylized fashion, think a straight to DVD Nic Cage movie or something. This movie thrives at being a B-grade action movie.
Most of the characters were over the top and had cheesy dialogue. There is a murderous crackhead named Skeletor, I felt like he was supposed to be scary but the dude was hilarious. He literally ran around stabbing people with the hypodermic needles he taped to his hands like Wolverine screaming I want my money. (Did I mention the government also paid people to stay in their homes during the purge and compensated them further if they participated?) Another character was literally just there to make hilarious one liners, she was a typical sassy older woman and I loved her, she brought a lot of levity to the somewhat tense film.
Basically, all characters where one dimensional and had no growth but this wasn’t a poorly acted film, the two leads Y’Lan Noel and Lex Scott Davis, were actually quite good. They suffered from clunky dialogue but they did the best with what they were given. Someone online had said Noel should play Blade and I’m kind of in love with that casting, he has it in him to be an action star. Marisa Tomei was in this movie too but don’t go see it for her, she was in it for like 15 minutes, probably the only big name in the movie and she was wasted.
This movie also had a terrible opening where my man Skeltor was having a psychological evaluation, terrible dialogue and the camera was all up in his face. Super cringey and the worst part is they inter cut a few more different evaluations throughout the movie,
Once you get past the lack of character depth, the in your face politics and the cheesiness, The First Purge is a really entertaining action movie. Turn your brain off, get a giant bucket of popcorn and enjoy.
I give The First Purge a 5 out of 10, would probably watch again.
“My bowels gone and joined the purge.”