By: Callum (CJ) Lavender
Release Date: July 18th 2014
So this is my very first film review and I may have to start it with some disclosers: Firstly I am not big on horror things unless it’s something special (to me) that catches my eye, Secondly I have not seen the first movie in this franchise, I meant to but never got round to it. And thirdly I will try my best not to but just in case I do without realizing… spoiler alert. So why did I want to see this film and write about it even though I’m not big on the genre? Well because I found the concept really interesting and really wanted to see what it would be like.
The concept of the film is that for one night a year in the US all crime including murder is legal. They do this for various reasons that are mainly for peace and harmony. For one night a year everyone is allowed to do what they want so that they can get the aggression released so that everyone can spend the rest of the year in a crime free country. Not only that but it’s also for control and to remove the ‘unimportant’ people so that there is no poverty.
The things that I liked about the film was the actors, they all did there jobs well enough so no complaints there. I really liked the beginning because everyone did a good job in building this thing up as it really did feel like the end of the world was coming. I also really enjoyed the ending because of how cleverly it was done, every ten seconds something unexpected happened and when I thought it was going to be obvious as to who and why it was actually surprising twists that I honestly didn’t see coming. So great beginning and great ending.
The things I didn’t like about the film was mainly the middle part and the actual purge night it’s self, both the trailers and the beginning did a really good job of hyping it up but then was let down almost completely. Nearly almost all the normal people in the cities spent the night hiding in there homes which were tightly locked down and the only people out purging really were the stereotypical street gangs that murder on a regular basis anyway. I know that realistically that’s what would actually happen in real life but I still think it could have been done better. Even though there are some unexpected twists through out the night that kept my interests most of the story and settings are nothing special and fairly chliced. For example a mysterious vigilante who’s able to defend himself and is out for revenge gets caught up in saving innocent people, then when he finally get’s to the end of the journey and after everything he has seen and done to get there he realizes that revenge wasn’t the answer after all… yeah umm how many times has this trope been done to death (see what I did there)? And there are a lot of points in the film where it’s like that. Really sorry if I gave anything away but it’s so painfully obvious that you can see it coming from miles away. Thankfully as I said the small twists are enough to keep me interested and it ends on a good note.
So here are some thoughts and messages that I feel that the movie was trying to share. It makes a lot of interesting points about how the world is today like how easy it is for most people to want to do the wrong thing in the times of crisis but also and more refreshingly how there are some people out there that still want to do the right thing in the times of crisis. I also thought that the film was trying to tell us how easy it is in life for a lot of people to get caught up in all of the worlds political and religious propaganda and to end up doing things that human beings shouldn’t be doing, I would give examples but I really don’t want to name any negative stereotypes. I do wonder if the film makers are holding up a crystal ball in front of us and showing the world a possible future if certain people keep doing certain things that they do… is this where we’re going to end up, but then again it could just be my imagination. Lastly a message I really found interesting was when a character was watching an internet video about another guy protesting about the purge and the father of the character watching called him out for being a hypocrite, that he could talk big in front of a camera but he wasn’t going to do anything about it. I really found this interesting because today you find all of these really annoying ‘inspiring’ memes and videos where depressed attention seeking hypocritrites preach about things like ‘revolution’, ‘acceptance’ and having ‘confidence’ but the moment these people turn of there computers and step outside into the real world all bets are off. Fortunately there was a surprising twist to that part of the film, which I wont give away but for the real world today it’s still a good point. I could go on for hours about why I despise these posts on the Internet but I will be getting off the subject.
So is this a good film? Well for me it’s definitely not the best one I’ve ever seen but it’s not the worst either, I enjoyed it for what it was for the most part. If you want to invest some of your time and money to see it then by all means do so, after all the theater was crowded when me and my friend went to the point where we had to sit at the front. My advice though is to watch it without believing the hype that it builds up.