July 2nd, 2021
MOVIE: THE FOREVER PURGE
STARRING: ANA DE LA REGUERA, JOSH LUCAS, WILL PATTON, TENOCH HUERTA
DIRECTED BY: EVERARDO GOUT
AMovieGuy.com’s RATING: 1 STAR (Out of 4)
With each Purge movie I have wondered who these movies were exactly for? They’re produced by Blumhouse Pictures, but they’re not exactly horror movies. The series certainly has the aspect of fear, but it’s more in the vein of Assault in Precinct 13, where collections of people are backed into violent situations, and the audience has the chance to see how people survive. At least, that’s what the first installment was all about. It even had Ethan Hawke, playing a father, doing everything he can to protect his family from a home invasion. Now, the Purge movies have gone completely off the path, and with The Forever Purge (Hopefully the last?), there’s not a single character, or purpose to bother watching. Director Everardo Gout takes us to the chaotic world, where once again the U.S. Government is allowing for a day of consequence free violence. Only this time, a group of “Forever Purgers” keep the violence going long after the purge time is up. The country descends into total chaos and a group of innocent people must try to escape to Mexico. It amounts to loads of ice cold violence and misconstrued messaging. If this is the last Purge movie, hopefully we can forget about this dumb series forever.
The main characters we follow are Adela (Ana de la Reguera) and Juan (Tenoch Huerta), a married couple that has made their way across the Mexico border to Texas for a better life in America. They are now working on the ranch of a wealthy family, the Tuckers, led by patriarch father Caleb (Will Patton) and often emasculated son Dylan (Josh Lucas), who has disdain for Juan and his ability to work well with horses. The imagery is the divide of wealth, where the ranchers live in their mansion, while Adela and Juan hunker down in a shelter to make it through the annual night of purging.
In this movie, the cast of characters all survive the purge day, but with it being The Forever Purge, the chaos doesn’t stop, as a group of militia, and rioters take over the streets. They even converge on the Tucker ranch, which sends Dylan and Juan on the run, protecting their wives and friends at all cost, while the threat of killers is all around them. There’s a bit of tension created on which characters are going to be left standing by the end, but there was only one question that continued to roll around in my brain, which is…Who cares? At no point did I feel a sense of anything for these characters or for the film’s misguided messaging.
Nearly all of the Purge movies seem to think they are saying something, about humanity, about our politicians, and about income inequality. Even if those are the goals, the results are never achieved for a myriad of reasons. If the message is that conservative militia groups are destroying the country with hatred for immigrants and arsenal’s to destroy our capital, then they are most likely enjoying the Purge movies because this is their fantasy scenario on screen. If it’s a message for liberals that we should be prepared or that we live with shitty people that want to Purge, well we know. It happened on January 6th 2021. Even if there’s a nugget of flipping the script on American’s and putting them in peril where they must flee to another country, that’s not a message that any conservative, immigrant hating American will take from this. They’re there to see people kill each other. And that is it.
It’s not just the tone deaf messaging that never works in The Forever Purge. This one is yet again lacking in any acting of sustenance. Josh Lucas is limited to running from masked killers and protecting his pregnant wife at all costs- another plot device that is useless for the character and a gimmick to conjure up the audience’s sentimental fears. The sets look like cardboard, backlot structures, while the editing is quick moving so that we can’t see the action cleanly. The cinematography captures characters in tight shots, all but confirming that some scenes were done in post production and there’s not a single moment where I cared which characters lived or died. The Purge series continues to reveal the worst of us and the worst characteristics of the movies made today. The Forever Purge is an awful mess.
THE FOREVER PURGE IS IN THEATERS FRIDAY JULY 2ND
Written by: Leo Brady