REVIEW: THE PURGE
SYNOPSIS: If you could commit any crime without consequences, what would you do? From the producer of Paranormal Activity and Sinister, comes an inventive thriller that dares you to survive the most dangerous night in America – The Purge – when all crime is legal for 12 hours. When an intruder breaks into James Sandin’s (Ethan Hawke) gated community during the yearly lockdown, he begins a sequence of events that threatens to tear a family apart. Now, it is up to James, his wife, Mary (Lena Headey), and their kids to make it through the night without turning into the monsters from whom they hide.
FILM REVIEW: Written and directed by James DeMonaco (Assault on Precinct 13, 2005), The Purge has one of those types of breakthrough concepts that are simply amazing when given any real thought. And by that, I mean the movie evokes the same sorta’ feeling about a motion picture concept, like The Matrix did when it first landed in theaters, in1999. At least that is the way I felt when I first heard of it.
The Purge is a movie that explores the concept of blowing off a little steam in order to create a safer society. And I’m sure that many of the “talking heads” may say that this is not be a bad idea for a movie and arguably could be a bit of a game-changer if done correct. However, DeMonaco’s take on the idea doesn't really hold together very well, once it all plays out. It starts from a premise that seems poised to provoke moral thought. Questions arise, such as: Should society be allowed to weed out less desirable elements by natural selection? Who should decide who lives or dies? All very valid questions, if only the movie would lead us, the viewers, to some sorta conclusions. Be it as it may, it’s sad to say, DeMonaco really bungles it completely.
The flick quickly slithers in to being just another horror film wannabe, confining itself to a single home, where lots of horrible things happen. How new is that concept for a movie where folks are boxed in to an environment, such as a house in the forest or suburbs, with people fighting for their lives to survive one single night of hell? In fact, I would say it’s akin to many others, such as Cabin in the Woods (2012) and Paranormal Activities (franchise), with the only significant difference being that one has a nation’s problems, taking place in one house and the others have a localized problem taking place in one house. I found it preposterous for the idea of a problem being so large that it affects an entire nation, but somehow DeMonaco found it necessary to confine the entire movie/concept to a single house in the suburbs. The entire country has one night (12 hours) to go out there and commit any crime possible, without any repercussions from law enforcement and all DeMonaco could do with that concept is bring us an updated version of The Strangers (2008)? Come
onnnnnn!!! What an absolute disappointment!
A movie about a repressed nation finding release in chaos could work and the concept is promising, in the right hands. And all we can do is hope that sometime in the near future, with a Spielberg or a Tarantino onboard; such an amazing concept will be brought to fruition. Unfortunately, besides its forward-thinking breakthrough perception, the film doesn't have much going for it. Therefore, I feel compelled to say that this is certainly not worth going to the theaters to see and I believe that it only deserves three stars out of five for respectable acting and a having a cutting-edge concept
By Movi-Man Stan
The film is
presented in widescreen in a 2.40:1 aspect ration preserving its
theatrical format. The picture is just flawless. Not only the
picture looks great in this release, also the sound it is good,
a 5.1 Dolby Digital in English that provides a good complement
to the picture. It also includes English
and Spanish subtitles.
Widescreen (2.40:1) 16x9
DTS-HD Master Audio
5.1, DVS - 2.0 Dolby Digital DTS (English); Digital Surround
5.1 (Spanish and French)
Subtitles - English Spanish
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Surviving the Night: The Making of The Purge