5 Jun 2013

'The Purge' Review

The Purge, 2013's Sci-Fi, Action, Horror starring Ethan Hawke is about a family that is held hostage for harboring the target of a murderous syndicate during the Purge, a 12-hour period in which any and all crime is legalized, and they find themselves in a life or death situation.

If The Purge will do anything it will split audience's right down the middle, if you look at it as a thriller, it's smart and intense, if you look at it as a horror, it's stupid and lack scares, and well, if you look at it as an action flick, well, it lacks action. The case with me is that I don't know if I liked it or didn't, but splitting the good's and bad's might help even things up a bit more.

The Good: What's best about The Purge is it's elaborate plot, which whatever way you look at it, it could be a good or bad thing; I however, see it as a good thing, it may be a tad stupid but it works and it works well, and we have never really quite seen something like it so us horror fans can't shout "call the police" or "just run" because, well, there is no law so all bets are off. The story is in fact, on of the strongest aspects of the entire movie, and even though the film crew didn't play more upon the story, it kind of felt like a waste of something special; but, that belongs to the bad aspects so i'll speak more of that later.

What I have to praise is the brilliant performances from Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, and even Adelaide Kane who plays the role of Zoe, the typical teenage girl. They provide a strong emotional depth to the piece that really adds to the action and makes us empathize when they get themselves caught in sticky situations. As for the character Charlie, the young boy of the house, he happened to be one of the most annoying characters i have watched in cinema 2013 so far, and without trying to spoil much, providing a minor spoiler, he is the cause of it all, and to be honest, I was rooting for him to die, whether or not that's what the director wanted I don't know, but god, he was annoying.

One of the best parts of The Purge was defiantly the odd twist it threw in, especially around the last act of the film; it was surprising, and actually quite comical. The scares were decent, there wasn't anything that was majorly scary but it was occasionally jumpy, and the villains were...well, scary; if you have seen the trailer then you know half of it already.

The Bad: With every silver lining, there's a grey cloud, The Purge maybe has some bigger negative problems than it does positive, and to be honest, most of the problems come from the character's choices. Throughout the film I was nearly shouting at how stupid the characters choices were at times, especially with the Charlie, the little prat who is to blame for all the shit.

Ok, so this is were THE SPOILERS BEGIN!
and don't say I didn't warn you.

Well, Charlie is to blame for letting the homeless guy in, he is to blame for getting his sister knocked out, and most of all, he is to blame for getting his own father killed because he brought the freaky mask people into their home; it was only a matter of time until I wanted him to die, but he didn't so let's move on. Along with stupid character decisions the other massive problem was how involved the action was with the plot; you'd expect all-out action and madness with a plot like that, but instead of making a big action packed film they decide to keep it all inside this tiny house were little actually happens. I mean why have such a big and adventurous idea and make the bare minimum? That's probably the dumbest and biggest mistake with The Purge, that it had the ability to be something spectacular, but instead it settled for average.

With a film like this, you would expect a decent amount of action right? Wrong. It was bland, again, they could have done more but they never and it was again another wasted opportunity, for the audience and even for themselves. Fair enough, the action that did happen was amusing and the final act was smart but as for the first act, it moved too slow, and all that fuss with the homeless man went on far too long. 

VERDICT: The Purge has a strong plot, strong action and a creepy delivery, but it falls on the last hurdle by character decisions and a lack of creativity, especially with a premise such as this. What ever way you look at it, The Purge can be good or bad, but what it won't be, is memorable.

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