Saturday, June 8, 2013
MOVIE REVIEW: THE PURGE
A family living in a gated community fight to defend their home against vicious attackers during the one night each year when all crime is legal in this high-concept thriller from writer/director James DeMonaco (Staten Island). In the not-too-distant future, rampant crime and prison overcrowding have inspired the U.S. government to implement a unique solution to restore the peace: Each year, for a 12-hour period, any and all crime becomes permissible as police put their jobs on hold, and hospitals close their doors. It's called the Purge, and remarkably, the annual event leads to drastically reduced crime and record-low unemployment levels throughout the rest of the year. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Director: James DeMonaco
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Max Burkholder, Adelaide Kane
Release Date: Jun 07, 2013
Rated R for strong disturbing violence and some language
Runtime: 1 hr. 25 min.
Genres: Action/Adventure, Suspense/Thriller
The Purge is a bit of a throwback to those 70’s sci-fi dystopian future set films, think Charlton Heston, which were high concept delivered in schlock packages. Writer/Director James DeMonaco’s film has a lot on its mind and there’s nothing subtle about it. Ignoring some of the more obvious logical holes, yearly destruction of infrastructure hardly seems productive, you can appreciate the ideas being thrown out about class warfare and humanity’s perchance for violence. DeMonaco throws these ideas out but never fleshes them out, missing a massive opportunity. Instead he opts for more blasé home invasion story which works well for what it is. The cast turns in workman performances with Ethan Hawke seemingly yearning to flesh out his home security sales man with greater depth. Lena Headey gives one of her better performances, showing a tad more range than she usually does. They all provide the audience proxies to root for as the tension grows especially during a minor twist near the end. DeMonaco moves his film at a brisk pace, before you can think about anything too much it’s over. It leaves plenty of questions unanswered some of which could be addressed in a sequel (early box office numbers nearly guarantee one).