Review: The Purge

Cinema trips used to be few and far between, but since taking on the Cineworld unlimited card offer, I can now find myself in up to three screenings each weekend. If I wrote reviews for each film see, I’d be here all week, and let’s face it, there are plenty of reviews around for a lot of the huge blockbusters out there.

I’ve chosen to write a review about The Purge as I feel it’s going under the radar a bit. Prior to entering the screen, I’d never heard of the film, let alone what it was about.

The film is set in America in the near future, where there are strict laws – except on one day of the year. On this day, anything goes, any crime is permitted. This day is when citizens are permitted twelve hours to go on a crime “purge” to cleanse their souls of the anger that may otherwise cause them to commit crime.

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Ethan Hawke is a salesman specialising in security equipment designed to protect families from people participating in the purge. His wife, Lena Headey, is left to deal with the scrutinising stares of neighbours who feel her husband is capitalising on their fears. They live with their two children in their grand house, and all is well.

Until the purge.

The plot of the film centres around the struggle of the family to cope as their purge plans go awry. I don’t want to go into too much detail for fear of entering spoiler territory, but the house doesn’t turn out to be quite the fortress it was designed to be.

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The Purge turned out to be a pleasant cinema experience. I wouldn’t say it was excellent, but it certainly isn’t poor either. The film remains tense throughout, and is well-acted. There are questionable comedic moments which I wasn’t sure were made to be intentionally funny or just missed the mark.

Coming out of the screening, I heard a lot of people grumbling that The Purge hadn’t lived up to their expectations. Having gone into the film with no expectations at all, I found it to be perfectly enjoyable and watchable. I can’t say it’s a film that I would necessarily want to own, or indeed watch again, but as a bit of fun on a Friday night, it was fine.

6.0

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