This movie could have been so much more than what it was, I was ready for some faces of death, Mad Max style nonsense and instead I got the dumbest family in recorded history hiding in their mansion for an hour and 45 minutes.
Anyways, the movies plot is interesting, I do have to give them that. It’s basically a society where everyone obeys the law and there’s zero crime because everyone saves up their murderous rages for The Purge: One day a year where for 12 hours all medical and police services are suspended so you can go murder your boss or light a hobo on fire or what have you. Imagine how much that would suck if you saved up all your murderous urges for the purge and you got the stomach flu and missed it! That would be so lame. It would be even lamer if someone broke in and bludgeoned you to death. Another unfortunate side effect of this whole scenario would be a Purge gone bad, like if you’re reigning blows down on your boss but before you can deal the death blow, The Purge ends with your boss still alive and you have to go to work the next day. Talk about a case of the Mondays!
Anyways back to the movie. The first sign of trouble for this movie is when Ethan Hawkes dumb face showed up. Here’s the thing with Ethan Hawke. He’s like the rice of the acting world. He’s bland, white and no one gets that excited when they see him but they’ll still take him over nothing. Much like you shove rice into the mix when you can’t think of something to serve with your dinner, you shove Ethan Hawke into your movie when you need a dude and no one else is answering your calls.
Ethan Hawke and his wife live in a giant house in a rich neighbourhood and he sells security systems to other rich people so they don’t get purged in The Purge. There’s some scenes that show him and his ridiculous family, there’s the hot wife, his angsty teenage daughter and finally an irritatingly quirky son who builds robots and has one that rolls around the house with a camera on it that he controls remotely. BOY I WONDER IF THIS WILL COME INTO PLAY AT ALL IN THIS MOVIE. When The Purge starts, Ethan locks his house down with his fancy security system and assures them that everything will be fine. And it is. Roll credits. haha no could you imagine?
Obviously things go horribly awry almost instantly when his dumb son spots some hobo running down the street and he’s all “I have a moral problem with the purge and I will show my disdain by allowing this stranger into my families home without consulting them despite the fact that this injured man could himself be a murderous fiend” STUPID KIDS.
So old dumbdumb (that’s what I’m calling him and you will deal) lets in the dude and Ethan Hawke and Co. are obviously nonplussed. Meanwhile, Teen daughters boyfriend has snuck in during the lockdown in a bid to win over her father who disapproves of his daughter dating him. Sidenote: it is explained she is 16 and he is 18, I feel like this is a totally acceptable age gap, it’s not like the dude is 28 and lives in a van, or is in his 40s and owns a “modeling studio” he’s still a kid too so I don’t see what the problem is.
Anyways, the boyfriends plan to win over dear old Hawkedad is by shooting directly at him with a handgun. I uhhhh I don’t know what the end game was there. “I murdered your father in cold blood but now we can date, I assume our next date will be at your fathers funeral? hmmmm? Wear something tight and black!” but that awkward scenario never comes to pass because Ethan Bitch Boom Bye’s the kid via gunshot to the gut. Ahh young love.
During this hilarious misunderstanding, the guy dumbdumb saved from earlier escaped into the house and the gang of roving lunatics that were originally stalking him somehow found out that he ran into the Hawkeden. They explain that they want them to send out the dude so they can kill him and they’ll leave the family alone. I don’t know why they’re so bent on killing this one guy, there are tons of homeless people all over the place, so just go find another one. In the spirit of the hunt, I would say this one got away.
The movie kinda dragged on from this point and just had scene after scene of either the murderers jeering at the family through a peephole or scenes of various family members sneaking around. Eventually the family tracked down the homeless guy in their house (I wish there was a Scooby Doo-esque montage of them opening and closing doors in a really long hallway for this) and they decide to tie him up and I guess just throw him out of the house Uncle Phil style into the waiting arms of the murderers?
The murderers outside start realizing they’re in the third act of their own movie so they decide to get things moving and break into the house. I think it’s worth noting that this very expensive alarm and security system is taken out in under 5 minutes by a pick up truck, a chain and a winching system. It was pathetic.
The murderers break into the house and Ethan Hawke ends up killing a few before getting shanked prison style. He dies and the movie instantly becomes 14% less bland. Just as it seems like the murderers are going to kill the remaining family members, the neighbours show up and kill all of them. Hurray! But not so fast because the neighbours then explain they’re here to kill the entire family. Why you may ask? Well I will tell you.
They are so angry that Ethan Hawke made a lot of money off selling security systems to them. More specifically, enough money to put an addition on their home. The neighbours are so fucking fired up over an extra bedroom above the garage they are ready to just kill the shit out of the entire family. This was completely bonkers to me. I could understand if they came in and were like “umm we saw that pick up truck destroy your security system in under 5 minutes, what the fuck dude??” and murdered him for selling them shoddy wares. I would get that, I mean we’ve all had rage blackouts when the person at McDonalds fucks up your order.
Anyways, the hobo appears to remind everyone that he’s still in this thing, and he saves the family and the mom is all “fuck this purge, we are all going to sit at the kitchen table in awkward silence until it’s over” and then they seriously do. The last few minutes of the movie is just them all glaring at each other in utter silence while occasionally furtively looking at the clock to see when they can get the fuck out of there. It was like the worst Thanksgiving ever.
In closing my main grief with this movie is that at no point did any character look directly at the camera, wiggle their eyebrows and say “I’ve got the urge…THE URGE TO PURGE.”