The Purge, it’s a hell of an idea. 12 hours of unadulterated mayhem. The franchise has become so infamous that it’s been parodied by other icons such as Rick and Morty. Now we come to what is potentially the logical conclusion, because what happens when you keep feeding the beast? Eventually, it doesn’t want to stop eating. This is essentially what The Forever Purge is. When the masses are tired of simply one night of anarchy they want more and when the worst of the worst get more everyone loses.
I have a confession going into this review and I hope it doesn’t get me purged. I’ve never seen a Purge film. That’s right I have somehow missed every misadventure in this semi-fictional world (let’s face it America is heading a certain direction where a real N.F.F.A. may have to take over). Now years on from the inception of this great idea the true patriots of America have taken the Purge to its logical conclusion, it’s never going to end.
It’s a fascinating decision so late into the franchise and for me, it totally worked as an introduction to the franchise. I saw myself through the eyes of the two leads, Ana de la Reguera as Adela and Tenoch Huerta as Juan. These two characters are barely a year in America, having crossed the border from Mexico 10 months prior and the Purge begins. Both have varying views on America, Adela hoping to find a new home in the US while Juan yearns for home seeing only the darkness behind the people he works for.
The Forever Purge: Let’s kick it up a notch
The Forever Purge has a great element going for it. Its lack of subtly. The film hammers home that America is a messed up country. It shouts loudly and proudly that white power pushes the Purge forward. People are despicable in this world and wear their racism as a badge of honour.
So when people of colour are shown as the heroes, the people you should root for because they understand the hard work that goes into holding onto what you want you feel for them. Adela is brilliant, she’s equal parts carer and ass-kicker. Reguera plays her with sympathetic energy, however, if you cross her she has no qualms cutting you down. Her background is lightly touched on which is a shame because her story sounds fascinating.
Huerta’s cynical Juan is given less character development. He’s simply there to be won over. To be shown that he needs to let his guard down otherwise he won’t survive without anyone to back him up.
On the opposite side, you have cowboy and cowgirl Dylan and Cassie Tucker played by Josh Lucas and Cassidy Freeman. These are a family that Juan works for who also get embroiled with them when the Forever Purge kicks off. Much like Juan, Dylan has to learn to trust and relax around those he initially has issues with. His reservations lean more towards the racist so you don’t care for him as much.
Visceral and violent
One of the biggest positives in the film is its set pieces. The various locations are mundane but they elevated by the bonkers nature of purgers. The film is also well shot especially when the action heads into the third act and the characters find themselves in El Paso which is a city at war. It’s a nightmare of explosions and monstrous humans. It’s easily the most visually striking section of the film.
Some of the bigger problems come in the lack of a villain. At the beginning of the film, there is a supposed villain but he’s dealt with quickly. He’s replaced in the latter third of the film but the force that replaces him isn’t nearly as personal.
Having made it out of my first Purge I can say without a doubt that The Forever Purge is a lot of fun. It’s nonsense, the characters, for the most part, are simple archetypes. However at the end of the day if you’re a fan this will be right up your alley.
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