We’ve survived three purges. The Purge, Purge: Anarchy, and Purge: Election Year. The cult-like fanbase that this film has gained since its beginnings in 2013 has grown exponentially. Each year a film is released, the fanbase grows a little. The story is a very popular story among films, told in a very different, more gruesome and sickening way. These films are deeper than the action/horror films they are advertised as… They are about socioeconomics, classism, racism, and the psychological state of the human being. The Purge series is interesting for many reasons, the violence and jump scares are just the main courses.
The First Purge is a prequel in the series. The film focuses on the night the experiment or “The Purge” is born. In the decline of the United States employment rate, the increase of the crime rate, the plummet of the stock market, etc. the people of the United States vote in a new party, the NFFA (New Founding Fathers Association). A psychologist, Dr. Updale (Marisa Tomei, Spider-Man: Homecoming), comes up with the experiment. She thinks that people are more likely to not commit crime throughout the year if they have one night that they can commit crime legally.
There are a lot of things about The Purge that are loveable. One of the main aspects I like is the revolution that always underlines the story. In this film, you see the revolution take shape, and form. The Purge was always about classism, kill the poor, make way for the rich. No more government assistance, no more helping the elderly that can’t care for themselves, no more homelessness, it’s almost like a legal modern-day Holocaust. Which is a strong comparison, but it’s true. According to Arlo Sabian (Patch Darragh/Sully), the NFFA’s Chief of Staff, the poor are bringing down the United States. This is the only way to control the population.
As much as I love this series, this film was a bit of a disappointment. Getting the background story was amazing, but the film could’ve used a better budget. Gerard McMurray did some awesome directing using James DeMonaco’s script. It was also awesome seeing DeMonaco let someone else in the director’s chair. Although I was disappointed in the first and second acts of the film because of the way things came about, the third act saves this film in some amazing ways.
The film had my expectations a bit high, but the overall essence of fear wasn’t there. In the other films, you were kind of afraid. The mass chaos that ensues and the danger of the characters is always there. This film lacked the horror elements of the others. We know that The Purge films are action movies dressed in horror movie elements, but this film didn’t have that. This film had moments, bits and pieces, whereas, in the other films, it was from the beginning of The Purge til the end.
The acting by the main cast was well done. Dimitri (Y’lan Noel, Insecure) the kingpin drug dealer in the neighborhood , Nya (Lex Scott Davis, Superfly) the bad girl gone good, Isaiah (Joivan Wade, Doctor Who) his big sister’s everything, Dolores (Mugga, Orange is the New Black) the good neighbor, Luisa (Luna Lauren, Dexter) and Selina (Kristen Solis) the mother/daughter we all get to see and feel for, were all played wonderfully. Especially given the way the film builds. The characters in the film keep you interested as you get invested in them the deeper the film goes. We also see General Smiley (Kevin Carrigan, House of Cards), Capital A (Christain Robinson, Burning Sands) and Skeletor (Rotimi Paul, Dutch Kills) were really good villains they all fit their roles well into the film.
Overall, this film was very enjoyable but lacks when put up against the films before it. I like it because if we watch the films in chronological order, it all makes sense. We see many aspects of The Purge, and we also see the connections between the films. We see how and why the revolution starts, we see the building blocks of how it spreads throughout the country and see the first of everything. This film has some great moments, but the lacking of meat in the first and second act really hurt the film. This is a fun movie-going experience, but it doesn’t do much past that.
Have you seen The First Purge? How do you feel about it? Tweet us @SuperBroMovies and tell us your thoughts! We love to hear from you guys!
Starring Y’lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, Joivan Wade, Marisa Tomei – The First Purge:
To push the crime rate below one percent for the rest of the year, the New Founding Fathers of America test a sociological theory that vents aggression for one night in one isolated community. But when the violence of oppressors meets the rage of the others, the contagion will explode from the trial-city borders and spread across the nation.