The Purge takes an interesting, albeit completely unrealistic idea and decides to instead go down familiar territory, resorting to a home invasion story, one which for the most part, is the same as any other home invasion movie that came before it. Things aren't all bad though, as the movie does have a few twists and turns up it's sleeve...
Release: June 7th, 2013
Short nitty-gritty plot description from IMDb is as follows: In the future, a wealthy family 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.
Tatlock's Quick 'n Dirty Recap: Crime is nonexistent thanks to a government sponsored yearly event, titled the Purge. For 12 hours, all crime is nonpunishable and any emergency response is put on hold during those hours. For some people, they see this as an opportunity to release some pent up rage, hence no crime for the rest of the year. For others, they seek shelter behind high tech security systems. Sadly, only the rich can afford protection, leaving the poor and homeless to fall victim to the madness of the Purge.
One family, the Sandins, stay in during the 12 hours, hiding behind a security system that was built by the father, James (played by Ethan Hawke). During the night, a homeless man wanders into the neighbourhood and screams for help. With no one helping him, the youngest in the family lets him in. This was not a good idea, as the people hunting him want to play and they don't care who gets in the way. Cue a night of home invasion madness!
Tatlock's Opinion: Even though the idea behind the Purge is ridiculous and would never work in a real life situation, I was still really intrigued in learning about the creation of the Purge and seeing more about what happens during the night. Sadly, the movie decides to only give you small glimpses of the reasoning behind the Purge and instead, focuses on this one family and the terror they face during the 12 hours. That's fine and all, but the movie just slides oh so easily into the standard home invasion storyline, one that we've probably all seen before.
I'm not staying it's bad or anything, as there is some pretty good violence going on (sadly with an abundance of CGI blood). It's just that none of the killers in the movie are interesting and developed. The leader, played by Rhys Wakefield, tries to come off as spooky and crazy polite, but instead just comes off as a rich teenager with too much time on his hands. In fact, all these teens think they are hot shit, but they are quickly proven wrong once they actually get into the house.
So, a good portion of the movie is been there, done that territory. Does that mean the movie isn't watchable? Far from it. Even if a big portion of the plot line has a been there done that feel, there are some nice little twists, that will pique your interest. I was actually thrown back by some of the decisions in the movie and I have to say, what happens near the end, had me grinning; some quick actions by Mary Sandin (Lena Headey), had me really rooting for her.
Verdict: I do recommend giving The Purge a watch, as there are several points in the movie that are interesting. The beginning is fun, with the movie showing you how The Purge plays out and the end throws some twists in your face, which will take you by surprise. The middle portion with the home invasion is the only part that has problems, as we've all seen it before and doesn't really try anything different.