There is nothing more American than a Purge movie. At this point in the franchise – five films and a two-season TV series in depth – the purge stories are directed with a swagger that delves into that sentiment, as each installment expands the reach of a world where the government of the United States has sanctioned an annual night where all crime is legal. The twisted holiday has also led to unprecedented economic growth and a nearly non-existent crime rate. Each new Purge film reinforces the idea that American patriotism is not about all the good things citizens say they enjoy 364 days a year, but about the sins committed on the night of the Purge. The purge forever, the last film in the franchise, is the logical endpoint of this idea, an action thriller where everything ultimately falls apart. Sadly, this is also where the franchise’s fragile understanding of social commentary begins to falter as well.
While it works pretty well as a standalone movie, The purge forever is a direct sequel to 2016 The purge: election year, and a kind of bookends corresponding to the prequel of 2018 The first purge. Long exposure via newsreel sound bites catches up with audiences on State of the Union: After a purge-free period, escalating violence and anti-immigrant sentiment catapult the Conservative New Founding Fathers of America radical behind the Purge, back in power, and The Purge is reinstated.
Unlike previous films, The purge forever isn’t interested in the political powers of his world, so franchise fans might feel a bit bewildered by this status quo reset. Instead of, The purge forever – directed by Everardo Gout with a screenplay by franchise creator James DeMonaco – tells a more personal story about Mexican immigrants Juan (Tenoch Huerta) and Adela (Ana de la Reguera) arriving in Texas undocumented, fleeing cartel violence . Adela finds work in a poultry factory and Juan works as a cowboy, employed by the wealthy Tucker family.
The pair are good, stereotypical immigrants – Juan is a better cowboy than Tucker Dylan’s heir (Josh Lucas), and Adela is hardworking, kind, and surprisingly good with guns. Patriarch Caleb Tucker (Will Patton) is a wealthy white man who, late in his life, begins to think about his privileges, and when Dylan begins to threaten Juan because of his own insecurities, Caleb realizes that his children are failing him. may not. the same reflection.
Then the annual Purge takes place and nothing happens to our characters. The real problem happens on following day, as national terrorists with white supremacist leanings rise across the country and refuse to stop the purge. In no time, the well-armed population of the United States descends into chaos and the Tuckers are forced to regroup with Juan and Adela (who oddly never have a last name) and attempt to make their way to the only safe harbor. : the Mexican border.
While the Purge franchise’s lack of subtlety is a big part of its charm, The purge forever is probably the greatest test of the unsubtle methods of these films. There is the delicious irony of a scenario where Americans are desperate to get in Mexico, but it is overwhelmed with a condescending execution. While Adela and Juan are ostensibly the protagonists, the Tucker family gets all the arcs of actual characters. An overwhelming mass of The purge foreverThe film’s 103 vivid minutes are devoted to the film’s Mexican immigrants who save the Tuckers’ lives, help them survive, and promote their moral development. It’s, frankly, an insulting thread that soured an otherwise skillful horror thriller.
But what’s really shocking about this one-sided view of what a divided people looks like is that these feelings are really out of step with the franchise’s main strength: its cynicism.The purge forever is full of empty platitudes like “America is everything, we can take it all and we can embrace it” or “I always taught my son to be a good American, but maybe I didn’t. learned what it meant. ”
The film’s storyline is oddly divided between making its villains into shameless racist gangs of monsters and also demanding that Juan hear Dylan Tucker’s racist belief that “we should all stick with our own.” Tellingly, Dylan is reformed, but not because of anything Juan says – remarkably, Juan and Adela only react to the racism of the monsters who seek to kill them. It’s almost as if DeMonaco doesn’t seem interested in the connection between the two attitudes.
Such shortcomings are truly disappointing, given that the Purge films have long excelled in fundamental villainy aimed squarely at American identity. These are films that rub their audience’s noses in what really turns Americans on – the violence that fuels our headlines, the conservative hate machine that others our fellow citizens of and the liberal complicity of wealthy people with good intentions. . At their best, they are a vision of America as it could be seen from the outside: a land of great wealth and chaos, where the marginalized are persecuted with the implicit permission of the state, and l homeland love warrants the journey of power that comes with an arsenal of guns.
There’s a glimpse of that excellence in what might be the best scene in The purge forever, a 30-second feverish dream where a neo-Nazi beaming with palpable bloodlust sits in the back of a police transport. He listens to the shots outside with relish and, like a carnage sommelier, names every gun he hears, barking their unique reports and jerky rhythms. With a smile, he calls it “American Music,” the song of the heart, as the sound chaos intensifies until you can almost hear a guitar screaming the notes of “America the Beautiful.”
“Take the group out,” said the Nazi, just before everything got out of hand.
The purge forever opens in theaters on Friday, July 2, 2021.