The film franchise The Purge started out as a different and interesting crime film idea. Initially the purge was supposed to be a concept of all out crime that was legal. It has now turned into a piss poor political statement film attempting to prove corruption in government for the United States of America. There were obvious bashes to the current Trump administration in office with “grab them by the p***y” references, shooting up a church, white crack dialogue, and other innuendos. Now I could personally careless about politics in film. That does not make a film improve or lack more than before. If a film has a political statement but portrays it in a fascinating way through the film I would be more likely to bite. But The First Purge just throws it out there in hopes of success. The worst part is, the film uses the political statements as the foundation of the film, but uses them in such a way where it is dry and bony. Therefore the film’s starting point was weak from the get go. If the film had taken a story centered drive with political statements throughout, the film could have been spectacular. Everything seems to fall short.
The most recent installment of the franchise takes place prior to the first three films as an experiment for the first purge. It is a supposedly health and social experiment that turns into a strictly political experiment to kill off the unemployed, the poor, the low income housing ghetto’s, and potential criminals. The biggest issue is the film opens up to a world of awful character build, corny script, plot holes, poor framing/lighting, and lower quality that is all unforgivable. The film dives right into all these character that we know nothing about and does not explain anything about their lifestyles, their personality, or a solid character background. I found myself realizing that the story line of the majority of the characters was an absolute waste of time. The only reason a character was introduced was to show an aspect on the political spectrum. The character Nya (Lex Scott Davis) and Isaiah (Joivan Wade) were absolutely pointless and irrelevant the majority of the film. Then there were a bunch of secondary characters that were thrown into the mix of things that made no sense at all.
The adding of the crazy maniac Skeletor who was going around killing people showed me that the initial thoughts of this film was to have everyone go crazy and kill people but then the director must have backed out of that decision. The director decided to go with a political stance where individuals did not want to partake in the purge. The issue was, they kept the psychopath Skeletor in, I guess as an antagonist for our pointless character story lines stated above. But that character being in the film, made the whole non participation concept void when individuals were clearly participating.
Each participant in this purge is dehumanized in the lab by a new political party called the NFFA, which is trying to show how the U.S. is dehumanizing people of color through racism. Nearly the entire film built on the premise of black lives matter and a political statement. Even putting this statement on the forefront, The First Purge still comes up empty when attempting to show the real issues in a political manner.
The 4.3 I gave The First Purge during the podcast was forgiving. After more of an analysis of the film (And seeing it a second time) it was awful. I should have given this film a 3.7 out of 10. This film falls short in nearly every aspect. It’s only saving grace was two things…
1. The scene where Dr. Updale questions the political authority, then the NFFA put her on the island to kill her. To me, this scene explained corrupt politics to the finest. Offing people to gain power and then swiping it under the rug. It was real, the way it was visualized, and the powerful part of the script.
2. Was the films main character follow Dmitri (Y’lan Noel) who may have a potential future in acting if he sticks with it. I recognized he was not bad, especially with an empty script with hollow material that he had to create a character from. He found a way to portray his character Dmitri in such a manner it seemed believable at times (others I just laughed). But the overall action scenes he was in, were believable fight sequences even though they were ridiculous at times.