I find it strange that Blumhouse Productions would continue with The Purge series. Financial returns and core fanbase aside, The Purge had just about explored all of its themes, politics, and ideologies – and all of it was practically satirized in jet black manner with Blumhouse’s The Hunt. It’s almost expected that a new Purge movie would just be going through the motions, which is exactly what The Forever Purge does.
The usual premise involving a worldwide grace period of crime and murder is elevated somewhat in The Forever Purge. Purge contributors are suddenly aware of their structured traditions, and they react by challenging their restrictions – evolving the nightmare into a never-ending exercise of chaos and anarchy. The parallel context exists in real life. The U.S. Capitol riots, for instance, although that frame of reference may be too recent. But still, The Forever Purge doesn’t have to look hard to find unwarranted, unhinged North American madness to draw from.
Violent contributors railroading the annual Purge is a good idea, and the film proposes some intense action-packed sequences, but the set-up could’ve been driven home further had the unofficial movement been controlled by a self-acclaimed pundit with a podcast or a YouTube channel to broadcast and fuel a mutiny. But, The Forever Purge makes a huge mistake by not actually including that provocative leader. There isn’t even a hint that a puppeteer exists off-screen. Everyone just seems to be overthrowing the purge at random. This series is obsessed with drawing parallels to modern society. This recent chapter still does so by heavy-handedly inverting immigration (our leads who once crossed the border into the U.S. for opportunities are having to sneak Americans back to Mexico for safety and a new life), but this choice feels too obvious. Even when the film is acknowledging and resolving prejudice between races, the results are too pat and resist against the awkward ominous vibes during the final narrations.
If the series is genuinely trying to connect itself through relatable themes, it needs to challenge itself more. I mentioned The Hunt earlier not only because it’s a better Purge movie than The Forever Purge, but it was willing to tread murky waters with confrontation, humour, and shocking violence. The Forever Purge, slightly rebounding from a ridiculous sequel, aims for dependable mediocrity and achieves it. However, that doesn’t mean it gets a passing grade.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie