Jamie Kennedy's favorite movie review site
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Advertisement

Overall Rating
1.79

Awesome: 4.17%
Worth A Look: 8.33%
Just Average: 12.5%
Pretty Crappy: 12.5%
Sucks62.5%

2 reviews, 12 user ratings


Latest Reviews

Darkest Hour by Jay Seaver

Shape of Water, The by Jay Seaver

I, Tonya by Rob Gonsalves

Wonder Wheel by Peter Sobczynski

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri by Rob Gonsalves

Swindlers, The by Jay Seaver

Oro (Gold) by Jay Seaver

Disaster Artist, The by Peter Sobczynski

Explosion by Jay Seaver

Lucky (2017) by Rob Gonsalves

subscribe to this feed


Purge, The
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Rob Gonsalves

"As in "vomit."
1 stars

In a scant nine years, or so we’re told by "The Purge," the U.S. government will set aside one night a year when crime will go off the books. People can do anything up to and including murder during those twelve hours with impunity.

We’re also told that unemployment in this brave new world (run by “the New Founding Fathers”) is at 1%, possibly because poor people are killed by each other and by roving bands of callous rich folks, while rich people can afford to hole up for the night inside their gated communities and state-of-the-art security systems. If this is meant to be a nightmare of a future Romney (or Romney-type) America, it’s as stupid as Dinesh D’Souza’s nightmare of an Obama America. Actually, the politics of this movie are as muddled as its storytelling and world-building.

This noxious sci-fi-horror-satire stars Ethan Hawke as a well-to-do salesman for a security-system company. All his snooty neighbors have made him very rich buying his product, causing some resentment among said neighbors, in one of those neat Screenwriting 101 narrative beats that depress us because we know it’s there as a set-up for a later pay-off. Hawke and his family (wife Lena Headey, daughter Adelaide Kane, son Max Burkholder) prepare to settle in for the night of the Purge, safely behind well-fortified walls and windows. Problem: the daughter’s boyfriend shows up and sneaks into the house before it’s locked down. Additional problem: a homeless man is being pursued by a pack of bloodthirsty rich kids, and the son takes pity and lets him inside.

The rich kids want the homeless man, and their leader — a diabolical smirker played so irritatingly by Rhys Wakefield that I can’t decide whether he’s an annoying actor or playing an annoying character effectively — lays down an ultimatum to the family: Give him to us or die. And so we sigh and realize this whole futuristic milieu is just a clothesline for a routine siege thriller, ripping off elements of Straw Dogs and Panic Room and Assault on Precinct 13 — the 2005 remake of which, by the way, was written by James DeMonaco, who also wrote and directed The Purge. DeMonaco must also have seen and enjoyed The Strangers, because the killers here wear meant-to-be-chilling happy-face masks.

The Purge is only 85 minutes long but feels 185 minutes long; I sat through it in a haze of complete non-surprise. Whenever one of the Good Guys is in danger, someone off-camera will unexpectedly come in with a weapon and neutralize the threat. This happens more than a few times, until it almost becomes a running joke, though there are almost no jokes in the film, other than a teenage girl saying “penis” and a loathsome character getting a quick, bloody, unasked-for nose job. The homeless man (solidly played by Edwin Hodge) doesn’t get a name — he’s credited simply as Bloody Stranger — so, out of solidarity with him, I have declined to name any of the other characters. Not that their names matter. It’s basically Dad, Mom, girl, boy, bad man.

Bloody Stranger is black, and the family (and Bloody Stranger’s tormentors) are white, though Bloody Stranger might as well be white, for all that race (or anything substantive) is an issue in The Purge. It takes Hawke and Headey a while before they decide to do the right thing and refuse to turn Bloody Stranger over to the killers, though at one point Bloody Stranger actually volunteers to be given up so that the family can live. I don’t quite know how to unpack the notion of a poor black man agreeing to sacrifice himself for a rich white family; maybe it’s a stealth commentary on how poor black men go into the military and essentially sacrifice themselves for rich white families, or maybe it’s just lazy writing. There might be true satire here, but it would take a far less bored reviewer than me to pick away at the flab surrounding the satire.

To make matters worse, every so often we’re shown a “Purge Feed” on various TVs displaying what kind of chaos is going on elsewhere in the country. All I could think was that any of those feeds hint at a more interesting movie than the one we’re stuck with.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=25095&reviewer=416
originally posted: 06/09/13 19:45:08
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2013 Stanley Film Festival For more in the 2013 Stanley Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell good premise turns into a standard home invasion flick 3 stars
2/28/15 stanley welles interesting, if improbable idea: execrable execution 2 stars
6/09/14 Richard Brandt Nutzoid premise for standard home-invasion fare with vague social-message overtones 3 stars
5/15/14 SID RUMKOWSKI A HOLLYWOOD HOSTESS TWINKIE OF A THRILLER. 1 stars
11/30/13 action movie fan clever better than average horror film with surprise twists 4 stars
11/23/13 mr.mike It was "no bad". 4 stars
9/23/13 ALICE Very bad script, bad acting and why they think it is a horror beats me... 1 stars
7/25/13 Langano Interesting premise but a predictable ending. 3 stars
6/18/13 christian thomas i loved it. edge of the seat thriller. looking forward to sequel. 5 stars
6/13/13 Julie jones 100% crap wasted 85 minutes of my life watching this 1 stars
6/10/13 Mattomic "murder, rape, illegally downloading Taylor Swift songs" Classic! 2 stars
6/10/13 PAUL SHORTT IMPLAUSIBLE, VIOLENT HOME INVASION FILM 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:


Discuss this movie in our forum

USA
  07-Jun-2013 (R)
  DVD: 08-Oct-2013

UK
  31-May-2013 (15)

Australia
  07-Jun-2013
  DVD: 08-Oct-2013


Directed by
  James DeMonaco

Written by
  James DeMonaco

Cast
  Ethan Hawke
  Lena Headey
  Adelaide Kane
  Max Burkholder



Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Privacy Policy | | HBS Inc. |   
All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast