The final chapter of this murdering franchise fights the power.
Let me give you the scoop on “The Purge” franchise. Once a year for 12 hours, all crime including murder is legal. This was a way for the world to be a better place, and what better way to express your hatred, then to express them on a night when the police have nothing on you. But there’s a catch, you need security systems, because there are psychos and murderers. This was until, the annual tradition became cancelled.
The original “Purge” from 2013 was good, the second “Anarchy” was better, the third “Election Year” was crappy, and the fourth “The First Purge” was a prequel that had good intentions, but still derivative. Given the millions of dollars the franchise has made, there had to be a final film called “The Forever Purge.” I’ve been critical about its existence, given my experience with the last two entries, but this one, surprisingly, had my attention. It has a certain blend of style and thrills that keeps you at the edge of your seat. It doesn’t shoot to kill at random for commercial gain, but rather, it shows what can happen if an annual tradition of violence and mayhem pushes psychos to the very limit. This yet another portrayal of how America has lost its way, and yet, somehow, this one works.
Apparently, the United States changed their minds about ending the Purge, and bring it back to tradition. As usual, 7PM to 7AM, the alarms go off, crimes are committed, and the alarms commence the end of the night. However, that very morning, psychos decide to take revenge on the rich and powerful and just about everyone else in what is now called “The Forever Purge.” It’s a nationwide catastrophe as buildings and car are being blown up, people being slaughtered, and both hospitals and law enforcers have their hands tied. Let’s face it. All hope for America is lost.
The themes, this time, consist of Mexican immigrants making their way to America, and pissing off people, but there Americans and Mexicans, who are willing to collaborate in the fight against the psychos.
The movie’s new cast members now include Josh Lucas as a prejudice rancher, who dislikes his Mexican ranch hands; Will Patton as his kind father; Cassidy Freeman as his expecting wife; Leven Rambin as his wise-cracking sister; and Ana de la Reguera and Tenoch Huerta as a Mexican couple, who immigrate to America, and Alejandro Edda as their amigo. They all become victim to the horrors and must rebel against them, but since they live in Texas, their only hope is go to Mexico. Why? Because both that country and Canada will open their borders to save the good guys for the next six hours.
Yes, we’ve had enough of this franchise, and yes, there’s too much craziness going on in this sequel, which is still written by James DeMonaco, and produced by Jason Blum and Michael Bay. But I still enjoyed “The Forever Purge” more than I expected to. The fact that Purge supporters decide to turn our country into a major war zone in this franchise makes it impossible to want to stay here. It’s scary and dangerous, and it reminded me of “New Order,” the most controversial Mexican film, which had no happy ending but frightened me in its sense of evil. Being a mass market film, under Universal Studios’ release, it allows the victims to fight back. Anti-Purgers, as we would call them.
I liked the performances from Lucas, Reguera, and Huerta, as well as the challenges they face. At first, the good guys who kill the bad guys get arrested by the police, and then it gets sidetracked by the purgers. And there are those who are so racist, they won’t hesitate to murder the Mexicans. But every situation saves them, and it’s fun to root for their survival.
Director Everardo Gout makes his feature directorial debut with a strong attitude and a motion that sets everything out of whack. This is everything “The Hunt” wanted to be and wasn’t, and it should satisfy those who loathed “New Order.” I’m being very generous by not only giving this final chapter a positive feedback, but also a fair warning to keep it that way.