I did not see the original movie The Purge, because it looked fairly typical of modern horror movies, pretty predictable, and (worst of all) was produced by Platinum Dunes. The overrunning plot, in which all crime in America is legalized for 12 hours (from 7 PM to 7 AM on March 22 every year) was intriguing, but the home invasion story just didn’t appeal to me much.
This new one looked a little more interesting to me, so I took a chance on it and I’m glad I did.
It begins a couple of hours before commencement of The Purge (the event, not the first movie) and the people are preparing in different ways- some are boarding up their houses and arming themselves, some are trying to cash in by selling weapons and security equipment, and others are preparing to go out during The Purge and commit crimes. We are introduced to three sets of people- a waitress and her daughter and father, who are very poor and live in an apartment; an estranged couple who are going to a relative’s house to wait out the Purge; and a mysterious man who is arming himself with guns and a bullet proof vest, preparing to go out during the Purge on an unknown mission.
Events conspire to bring these people together, as they try to make it through the city in the middle of a warzone, where almost anything is legal.
Tho it is a lot more involved and updated, it brought back fond memories of old urban wasteland movies like The Warriors, Escape From New York, and 1990: The Bronx Warriors, which is a genre you don’t see much anymore (the last one I can think of was Neil Marshall’s Doomsday (2008), and this one is much better). There are no big actors (the only one I recognized was Frank Grillo, who had a smaller role as Crossbones in Captain America: The Winter Soldier), and almost no CGI was used. I would have liked there to be just a little more gore and exploitation elements, but this movie still blew away most horror and action movies that come out these days. There are several ham handed attempts at social commentary (some work well, while others lay it on a little thick), but that doesn’t get in the way of the entertainment (and a lot of it is actually quite relevant and timely).
It is still out in theaters, so you have a chance to go see it if you haven’t already. We here at PMT recommend it, and we don’t do that with many modern movies.
There was a trailor for the Cannibal Holocaust/ Cannibal Ferox/ Trap Them and Kill Them, etc. homage The Green Inferno before it, which also intrigues us, tho it looks just a bit too clean and modern to these eyes. Going into it with hopes but strong reservations.