Movie Review: How The First Purge Began
Genre: Action/Horror/Science Fiction
Starring: Y'lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, Joivan Wade, Mugga, Lauren Velez, Marisa Tomei
Who here was not once the least bit intrigued by the premise of "The Purge" whenever a trailer for one of the movies popped up? If you've never felt taken towards the series, then you're probably one of the very few who feel that way.
With the dystopian genre reigning strong over the past few years, it's no wonder that films like "The Purge" came to be as a result of it.
This movie series has been going on for a while, and finally, now that we're the fourth movie in, we get to find out how this heartless American tradition began.
What is it about?
A drug addict by the name of Skeletor (Rotimi Paul) speaks to the camera about his dark thoughts, particularly his desire to "purge". In response to his crazed confession, a voice tells him that he will soon be able to do that.
This is how "The First Purge" begins. Soon after that brief scene with Skeletor, the New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA) announces that a 12-hour experiment will take place on Straten Island. The experiment in question? Citizens are allowed to do anything they desire without having to face legal consequences. Want to rob a bank? They can do just that. Want to kidnap someone? No problem. Want to take another person's life? ... Yes. It is a free-for-all event, where the phrase "survival of the fittest" cannot be more apt.
To sweeten the pot and to get people to participate in the experiment, the NFFA offers $5000 to each person who stays at home during the event and additional money to those who engage themselves in the free-for-all affair. The NFFA's reason for holding this cruel experiment is to lower the crime rate in the area. However, many citizens who are against it believe that the move could've been politically motivated; the NFFA doesn't care for them, so why should they believe otherwise?
Unfortunately, there are many of those who are for the Purge, and have willingly taken the NFFA's bribe. With poverty and low-income plaguing many citizens of Straten Island, it is the easy way out of the mess that is their lives.
Is it worth a watch?
For the first time since "The Purge" series began, we not only get to find out how the deadly tradition began, but see another side of the series- one that isn't tied to just action and gore for pure entertainment purposes, but a deeper side to it. It is in "The First Purge" that after straddling the fine line between entertainment for fun and there maybe being a deeper plotline behind it all for three consecutive films, our long-held suspicions are confirmed; that the motivation behind the tradition is indeed political.
Frustrated with the amount of money that has to go into supporting the low-income bracket of the citizens of Straten Island, the NFFA decides that the Purge is the best way to take care of their problems. By allowing the citizens to "take care of" themselves, the NFFA would be rid of those who are draining away at their money while pretending to hide behind the guise that they, the NFFA, are doing it to ensure public safety.
It is cold-hearted selfishness at its finest, and a smarting commentary of how many governments do not tend to care about the welfare of the less fortunate.
That being said, despite the intriguing plotline that "The First Purge" has, there is a sense of there being a little something missing from it all. The relationships between the characters are there, and there certainly is a story tying the events of "The First Purge" together. Perhaps the film would've benefited from a bit more build-up.
What do you think?
"The First Purge" is already in cinemas!
Written by Crunch's Melissa Kartini