Review of "The Purge (DVD)"

published 08/12/2014 | SirJoseph
Member since : 08/03/2012
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Pro Premise, Antagonists, Clair de Lune
Cons Cast & Performances, Badly Timed Music, Awful 'Twists', Missed Opportunities
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""One night a year, all crime is legal" and yet.. BOOOOORIIIIIIING"

"Release the beast boys, let the killing commence!"

"Release the beast boys, let the killing commence!"

The Purge

"This is your emergency broadcast system announcing the commencement of the annual Purge. All crime,including murder,will be legal for 12 hours. All emergency services will be suspended. Your government thanks you for your participation." I believe that the idea of an annual purge is an interesting topic, albeit a rash one. It's as fair as it may seem though as weapon use over 'class 4' cannot be used and high ranking government officials cannot be harmed. Other than that, it seems like a perplexing proposition. Would people pour onto the streets, looking to vent their anger? or would the majority stay inside and wait it out?
"This night saved our country"

A montage of genuine violence caught on tape, mixed in with some weak staged scenes introduces the film with minimal substance except the videos score of Clair de Lune by Debussy, a classic. The hideously cheesy voice of a radio host announces how citizens will be 'releasing the beast' tonight as a smug looking Ethan Hawke struts into his giant up-market family home. He greets his wife and divulges in chitchat about his job and how his daughter is too young to be dating an older man. Cue the two of them declaring their love for each other in cringeworthy fashion. But it's not the loved up morose actions of the couple that are the problem as such, its the fact that the daughter, donned in a revealing schoolgirl uniform, looks nearly 30 - all realism out the window, along with the boyfriend. The equally plastic neighbours drop by to pry, boast and bang on about how great they all are, shortly before this years purge commences.

Before that though, we're introduced to more of the cast, in particular and extremely creepy child, Charlie (The girlfriend said he looked like some kind of Michael Jackson creature), who operates a small, burnt, baby doll on wheels with a mounted camera - called Timmy - enter blatant plot device. He wears shades to see via 'Timmy', has a hanson-like mullet and has general nerdy, lech like qualities. After a heart to heart over dinner (where the dad tries to act sporting, mother mentions the meal is zero cal, son mentions his heart-rate and daughter shows her stereotypically moody distain for her father) the family initiate a lockdown where their entire house is sealed by metal grates. However, this world-class security system cannot contain the violence awaiting them, as the naive son allows an injured, fleeing man into his home and the equally dense daughter practically aids her psychotic boyfriend in shooting her own father, nice loyalties, love.

What's right

The fine, young, very educated, guys and girls are a real delight and the only aspect that makes this film a thriller, let alone worth watching. As well dressed, well spoken individuals, they come off (well the leader anyway) as bright, yet sadistic members of purge society - with proper freaky masks but somehow, the leaders smile is even more frightening than the rubber one. The way he demonstrates his resolve is swift and recklessly absolute. The reason for their intrusion is a fairly well crafted excuse too - as they hunt for this 'dirty, homeless, pig' or 'filthy swine'. The pig/swine in question plays his part well too, getting sweaty at the right moment and delivery his few lines with conviction and intensity - whilst being stabbed with a letter opener and taped to a chair. Finally of course, is the premise - all crime is legal? It sounds like utter chaos right? Like anything can happen, anything goes yeah...
What's so wrong

...Until you realise the whole bloody film is set INSIDE one house. Most likely because the budget was sp*nked on bringing in Ethan Hawke maybe? Or because it was a lowly *£3mil*? Either way, encapsulating a film with such a plot occurring outside doesn't conjure fear like it should, but instead creates a house of predictable American tension about how far a husband goes to protect his family' etc. The musical cues for the 'scary bits' fail massively too as the loud bangs happen before you see anything jump out. Both children are lacking in any sense or depth as the youngest only shows sympathy and confusion about the situation, whilst the oldest just offers useless platitudes and somehow has less intelligence than her sibling several years her junior. But the most gravely disappointing aspect of it all, more so than the lack of action the plot demands, is that the classy antagonists are pretty much insta-killed and in quick, unoriginal fashion - by the worst characters.

It could be that I found the prospect of the purge and its participants so much more engaging, that when someone, anyone from outside this U.S, upper class, suburban household came into play, my allegiance was easily swayed. Of course, I chose my side knowing full well that this film would end in sad, tragic, obvious fashion.. where this pathetic family of insincere, hollow characters would, in the end, gain the upper hand and dispatch the intruders. I can honestly say, this is a bit worse than I expected, and my initial expectations were low to begin with anyway. It was only because the other half had seen the trailer and wanted to see it, that I caved in and sat through the whole thing, so I could slate it later. That being said, I still think the idea of this 'Purge' was a good one, only executed poorly.

A Missed Opportunity.

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Comments on this review

  • euphie published 19/12/2014
    vh :o)
  • IzzyS published 14/12/2014
    Thorough review.
  • Coloneljohn published 10/12/2014
    Well reviewed. John
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Product Information : The Purge (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

Classification: 15 years and over

Actor(s) (Last name, First name): Lena Headey, Ethan Hawke

DVD Region: DVD

Director(s) (Last name, First name): James DeMonaco

Production Year: 2012

Title: P

EAN: 5050582953589


Listed on Ciao since: 01/08/2013