Welcome to the futuristic story of a night without laws. This night, called The Purge, is supposed to be for the betterment of society… to let the population let off a gigantic cloud of steam so that, for the rest of the year, crime and strife are low.
The Purge focuses on a well-to-do family and the night in question. When their son does the unthinkable and saves a man on the street from a roving gang of bloodthirsty d-bags, they find themselves being forced to fortify in their own home, told to either give up the stranger or be killed along with him.
While there is nothing particularly amazing about The Purge, I have no choice but to admire its low budget simplicity. Replace the moderately big name celebrities in it with some nobodies and it would be almost indistinguishable from a SyFy Channel original movie, but it tells an effective story and does it in a commendable way that you can’t help but step back from and admire.
Sure, the movie may not be the best or anywhere in the same parsec of the best, but it’s good at what it does and that is a feat that some movies can’t even do properly.
Now, while not great, The Purge is pretty good for what it is… a low-rent thriller built on the dreams of how idiots in The Tea Party feel like the country should be run which is terrifying thinking to say the least. Not that I actually think any of this nonsense will actually come to pass, but you’ve got to swallow a little suspension of belief with this movies, sometimes a spoonful and sometimes it’s a whole bowl. Other times, it’s delivered by enemas.
If anything, I wish it would have had a more firm grasp on the politics at hand… become a real analogy for America and this insane gun loving paranoia that has gripped us about the throat. As it is, any analogy is passing — perhaps accidental.
I’m afraid this is yet another one of those movies where I think I love the concept more than I loved the movie itself. The concept of a home invasion is nothing new so to see it used here is disappointing, but at least they are smart enough never to lose touch with the concept that they present. They explore a night without laws from both sides, they peddle its benefits, its repercussions, its faults, and the moral dilemmas. I would have rather seen more done with the concept with a little more philosophy thrown in, or perhaps more of a look at the world of The Purge outside of the home, but even with those drawbacks, it’s still not bad.
As I said, this would be an incredibly high caliber made for SyFy movie and I’m not talking about Sharknado, I’m talking about a movie that is actually good and not so bad it’s good, but then again… this would be “great for SyFy.” As movie, it’s merely good. Not amazing, not groundbreaking, but rather just a good movie that doesn’t do enough with a great concept.