Am I fond of The Purge franchise? Not in the slightest. Even though the concept sounds very interesting, none of these movies so far doesn’t provide the scares or the smart ideas that people want to what feels like it could happen with who’s running the United States. The First Purge (dumb title) will most likely be another film for the series that will be mixed yet provide another commentary on how the world would be like.
What’s the Story: 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.
Having this fourth installment as a prequel to when this experiment first started actually didn’t sound like a terrible idea. Because I would want to see why anybody would go out on the streets for a 12 hour period to release their anger. The best part is that James DeMonaco, who directed the previous three, didn’t direct this as Gerard McMurray (Burning Sands) is helming while DeMonaco still wrote the script. Maybe it was the low expectations that didn’t make me hate The First Purge, but it’s still not particularly good for anybody.
The first half actually talks about why this experiment is the best idea for the country, especially on Staten Island. Hate to say that it does make you wonder from a psychological standpoint. We also get to witness the behind-the-scenes with the purgers wearing special contacts to see what’s going on with Marisa Tomei (why is she in here?) as this architect watching for progress. Are you willing to kill if it gave you the chance to earn something a bit more? Does it work successfully? Can’t say it does because I feel like it’s thrown out the window as soon as the purge started.
Even though we don’t have Frank Grillo back, unfortunately, Y’lan Noel (Insecure) give the best performances in the entire movie. His character of Dmitri isn’t exactly the character I wanted to follow since he’s the neighborhood drug dealer, but he’s the main one to follow through. Fact is, he’s one of the only people in this entire franchise that I would want to follow to keep someone alive.
DeMonaco’s script is still not good. This is what I hate about all of these movies in which it doesn’t provide anything new and has same beats from before. Aside from Dmitri, I can’t say the other characters that are trying to survive the night aren’t worth caring about. Didn’t care about Nya (Lex Scott Davis), or her younger brother Isaiah (Joivan Wade) trying to get revenge on this crackhead that cut him. Moments, where it tries to be relevant to today’s terms, didn’t work because there was some Trump reference that felt forced (like the teaser poster).
The action and the horror elements aren’t as a convenience from before. This still relies on the stupid jumpscares that need to be get rid of. Now that they have liberality to do more outside, it gives us the chance to feel the environment who needs to survive with more actively involved, and even the action was bad in the way it was filmed. There’s a sequence where they had to use CGI blood, which you shouldn’t because everyone will know it’s fake.
Just as I don’t want any more media relating to The Purge, there’s already a TV series on USA Network that’s completely unnecessary and it’s too much trying to convince the world that this could happen. Side note: they actually set the show-up and a fashion that makes me think to watch something else instead when it comes on.
Not gonna say that The First Purge is the best one in the franchise because honestly none of these movies impressed that much over the other. Still, I want this franchise to end because I can never understand why people like these movies, especially Anarchy (the worst one).
The First Purge admittedly tries its hardest to be grounded, but this latest installment is another reason why this unneeded franchise suffers.