Short of the most recent offering, I’ve been a pretty big fan of The Purge films. The United States has a clear history of systemic injustice, and James DeMonaco’s franchise shined a bold and clever light on it way before it was “cool” to do so. That said, the last entry felt more like a spoof of a Purge movie rather than an official entry. Instead of being bold and brave, The First Purge came across as sloppy and immature–prioritizing headline references and comical one-liners over actual substance. The Forever Purge, which is the most recent and final entry into the franchise (unless it makes a lot of money), could be heading down that same path.
Leaning even more into the outlaw MAGA craze that the nation is somehow still facing, DeMonaco seemingly read the tea leaves and conjured up a tale where a certain segment of the population refuse to acknowledge that the Purge has ended and take it upon themselves to ensure it continues… forever. The parallels to the real world are actually pretty shocking, and in the fictitious world where The Purge exists, it makes sense.
But even if the premise is better this time around, the ruthless pursuit of low-hanging fruit seemingly continues. In the spirit of The First Purge’s infamous “pussy-grabbing motherfucker” line, various white men in cowboy hats torture immigrants workers and yell phrases like “English! Speak English!”. I’m not saying the depiction isn’t woefully accurate, I’m just saying that DeMonaco used to make viewers use their brains a bit. There was an air of mystery and realism behind the franchise previously, but now it just seems loud and divisive for the sake of being loud and divisive.
But hey–Purge cowboys are a fun thing to say and booby traps are cool. Maybe that will be enough.