Theatrical: The Forever Purge

Some stupid crap.

Mild spoilers for the prior Purge movies below.

One thing readers of How About Notflix might not know is that seven years ago I was shot twenty five times by a copy of Vampires Suck, which goes a long way to explain why my only dream in life is to see the Seltzberg duo die the same way Verne Troyer did in the Postal movie. To save you the time of looking it up, he gets sodomized to death by a million monkeys to herald a nuclear apocalypse. But the infusion of crap and lead into my movie snob brain gave me the superpower of appreciating both sides of the film spectrum equally.

The Forever Purge is a stupid movie with a stupid premise, but it’s a Blumhouse production so really that’s a redeeming factor. The fifth movie in the series (originally intended to be the final), The Purge is one of those franchises that takes a premise you’d think would get stale after the first film, and actually injects some creativity to it to keep it fresh. I know, I’ve seen them and I still can’t comprehend it.

For those somehow unaware, The Purge takes place in an America where crime is nonexistent, and the reason for that is because on one night every year all crime is legal for twelve hours. Well not all crime. Government personnel are exempt from being murdered, I’m not sure how that works. Despite how stupid the overall concept is, the Purge films and the world it takes place in are far more cleverly written than it has any right to be.

The first Purge film is as base as you can get; a family survives the night. It takes place in one house and almost feels like Panic Room. The sequels go into more concepts like a totalitarian government, anti-Purgers creating a paramilitary resistance, and in the third movie the country is rejecting the Purge completely, ultimately voting in a president who shuts all that shit down. They took a clever twist by making the fourth movie a prequel, letting the audience stew as to where the storyline would go.

Blumhouse is a fascinating studio.

The Forever Purge continues the story. At the end of The Purge: Election Year the Purge is litigated out of existence. As a result crime rates skyrocket (given they were at zero) and it leads to a rise in white supremacists, neo-Nazis, nationalists, antigovernmental terrorists, etc, culminating in the reelection of the New Founding Fathers of America and the reimplementation of the Purge.

Newly immigrated Adela (Ana de la Reguera) and Juan (Tenoch Huerta) come into America and experience their first purge hunkered down with a group of other migrants. After the purge ends however, instead of returning to their normal lives the country is suddenly besieged by a group intending on keeping the purge going forever. Drinking game: Take a shot every time someone says “forever purge.” Use a light drink.

Adela and Juan find themselves escaping with the Tucker family as Dylan (Josh Lucas) wants to get his pregnant wife Cassie (Cassidy Freeman) to safety. Thankfully the McGuffin arrives just in time as Mexico announces it will accept refugees through the border but only for the next six hours. Synchronize your watches and go.

Don’t come to this film looking for subtlety, the movies launch on July 4th weekend for crying out loud. The Purge films are all about classism, exploitation, racism, paranoia, and the fact that you’ve got a whole bunch of crazy white people armed to the teeth and ready to start a revolution because of them Mexicans coming in and taking our jobs. Is it intelligent? Hell no. But it’s fun.

It’s a classic reversal of roles that asks “what if Americans had to go to Mexico as war refugees?” If you’re going into this film expecting Trump analogies, either because you want them or you’re afraid it would ruin the movie, I didn’t see any. Nobody shouted “make America great again,” there weren’t any media versions of notable Trump administration people, the president isn’t spray tanned. The furthest the film goes is to focus on the Mexican border wall, but that’s less of a Trump comment than it is a plot device for the hero’s escape.

If you want a stupid popcorn film full of splosions, gunfights, crazy outfits, tanks running over cars, cities on fire, hostage situations, Spanish spoken without subtitles, people throwing around cliche’d lines like “I’m scared to bring a child into this world,” then I suggest you watch the whole Purge franchise. Yea I spoiled some of the plot earlier, but that’s kinda ancillary to the overall experience.

The Forever Purge is the kind of movie that movie snobs that review movies professionally are going to give two stars out of five because they think the film is beneath them and they also think it’s stale because they spend most of the films rolling their eyes and checking their Twitter feeds instead of actually paying attention. I’ll give this film the credit it’s due, it’s exactly what you would expect out of a Blumhouse movie called The Forever Purge.

Rating: B+

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