1. The concept is novel, the approach is canned.
2. Needs a lighter, more gonzo style. This is very competent and paint by numbers. Produced by too many people who knew what they were doing.
3. The dialog is too on the nose, laughable in some situations, and each character says the same thing every time they open their mouths. People have the same exact conversation over and over again. Screenplay by Copy and Paste.
4. The movie is: run down an alley, have a gun fight, talk about each other's past, repeat until the final blow out. You can see the scenes coming in a steady pattern.
5. There is no sense of escalation. I was hoping for some feeling of deepening dread or suspense. None of that. It's all very Cannon Picture action imagery.
6. The economy of The Purge was interesting. How people are making money off it, exploiting the classes, that was something interesting. A concept of Government Subsidies was tossed out there, that's what I needed more of. Though, I don't really understand how murdering off the cheap labor pool benefits the rich. Who's going to carry their golf clubs and detail their Bentleys? I suppose I should read more of them book thingies.
7. This movie had a very strong Escape from New York vibe, but you know, without the humor. It is played very straight, to its detriment. There is no sense of fun. For a movie with Anarchy in its title, this really takes itself too seriously.
8. There is a creepy thing between the action hero in this, who is actually pretty cool and who pulls you through the movie. He has some charisma, but belongs in a movie like "Cyborg Cop", not this one. So he's fun because he thought he was in a different movie. BUT no, there is a creepy relationship between him and the female protagonist’s daughter. They set it up where he and this diner waitress would like each other, but instead he's hitting on her teenage daughter the whole movie. Weird stuff.
9. The movie flashes to life in the last few minutes when the characters are stuck in this Most Dangerous Game laser tag like room, it has a nice blend of satire and gunplay, maybe not enough to make it worth finding a babysitter for, but pretty cool. Very squibby. The revolutionaries are hysterical.
10. So it looks like they are wanting to make one a year. I say do it every other year. You need some more time to let these bake. It all comes off as the machine made the movie, not like actual people. If anything, it feels like a Rage Against the Machine high schooler had a great idea but had no idea what to do with it. It feels like the Saw movies, slightly subversive, but the same three scenes played on repeat.
FINAL THOUGHT: Look, I paid $6.50 to go see this because I had the day off, and I'm glad I did. It was an escape from reality, nothing earth shattering, but was fun to see a crappy movie in a theater where it could get my undivided attention. Plus the theater serves coffee, so that was awesome. 4/10 for the movie. 8/10 for my general sanity. I was glad to return to reality afterwords. If a movie is too good I hate leaving the theater.
WATCH INSTEAD: Escape from New York, The Crazies (original or remake), The Warriors, Assault on Precinct 13. Basically you'd be safe watching anything directed by John Carpenter instead.
HOW WAS THE CREDIT SEQUENCE?: Funky and low res, punky, they should have let the title designer direct the movie. I say, that should be a new rule. Whoever makes the best credit sequence gets to direct the movie.
What sold me on the movie: Besides the concept, there was this cool poster...
and this cool creeper...
and this still...
It doesn't take much to get my money.
FIGHT EVILSam Drog
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