Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Purge

  The Purge is a movie that works around the premise that once a month, or once a year, (I can't recall) all crime is legal. Rape. Murder. Theft. This is set in the USA mind you. In the year 2022. It stars Ethan Hawke and a few other people I don't recognize. Uh. Yeah. The movie is alright. I guess. It's nothing special. Which is a shame because the premise is fuckin' fantastic. So many things you could do with that movie. Social commentary, horror, satire, the works. Does this movie do any of that? Well, it tries. I think. It looks like it's trying, but also not really. How? Because everything but the premise is painfully mediocre. Someone might say, "Well, it wasn't that bad." You'd be right too. It's not that bad. It's alright. The acting is good, the premise is fantastic, it's shot well. So yeah. It's not bad. Does that mean it's good?


  A hundred times, no. The Purge takes a great concept, and boils it down to a home invasion movie, which subsequently becomes a run of the mill "Who's gonna die next, and how." movie. Oh joy. What fun. Since this movie does absolutely nothing interesting with the premise, I'd like to recommend The Strangers instead. A proper home invasion movie that actually had me crawling out of my skin. Or even Hostage. Not as good, but head and shoulders above The Purge. If you wanna see Ethan Hawke in a good movie? Go see Daybreakers or Training Day. Even the remake of Assault on Precinct 13 would do. See, the moment I knew The Purge was a home invasion movie, I was already disappointed. The premise of the movie, the very concept demands a story on a larger scale. Or at least something creative. This movie's originality begins and ends with it's concept.

  Worse yet, it's predictable. The scenes are all but telegraphed like some sort of bad cinematic lag. Even the fights are predictable. "She's about to swing that ax, but before it impacts on the table, he'll roll out of the way in the nick of time. Oh- wait- yep. Called it." That was me, talking to myself during the movie to keep my interest glued to it. The movie had good marketing, I'm not gonna lie. However, the movie itself is mediocre. I can only say that so many different ways actually. I usually hold myself to a review standard of several paragraphs, believing sincerely that any movie has enough in it to write a decent sized article about.
Short of delving into what the movie could've been, and my personal ideas on how the concept could've been done better... I'm coming up short on stuff to say about this movie.

  So, without further ado, here's the bottom line. It's not good. It's not bad. It falls into that loathed area of indifference where I can't bash the shit out of it, nor can I praise it. There are better movies out there, more deserving of your time. Speaking of time though, this review was requested specifically by someone I know. This is what I do. I watch movies and provide opinions. I'll watch bad movies, so you don't have to. I'll glue my attention to the screen through boring movies, through long movies, and once in a while someone asks me to review a movie that turns out good. This wasn't one of them. Do I feel I wasted my time? No, only because I can now warn people not to waste theirs. That's my function in this equation. I have no problem with that either.

  Mediocre. People use that word like an excuse, or a hall pass. "Don't condemn it, it's mediocre but not bad." This angers me. Mediocrity should not be accepted or embraced, it should be challenged and despised. Concepts like this movie had are mired by the mundane movie itself. That's practically criminal. The concept, the premise was insanely promising. The movie squandered every last ounce of that potential though. It was an easy movie. Easy to watch. Easy to keep watching. Easy to get caught up in the inane clockwork of it's cliche who's-gonna-die-next formula. It's not necessarily thrilling, or even fun, just... easy to watch. It was noise and motion, coordinated to keep my attention span occupied for 90 minutes. Thankfully it'll be easy to forget too. Don't waste your time on The Purge, you might not implicitly regret watching it, but you'll have the need to do something worthwhile afterwards, or even watch something actually entertaining.

  The Purge presents fascinating ideas, but never explores them. It presents you with an itch it has no intention of ever scratching. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is simply loathsome. But hey, whaddayaknow! I found more shit to say about it. Fancy that.

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