The Forever Purge review
Maaan is The Forever Purge gonna piss off FOX News. There’s zero subtle metaphors or allegories with this one as it’s basically Trump’s America deciding one day of purging just isn’t enough.
Here’s the ridiculously wild question that sees almost silly to ask. Is The Forever Purge just incredible timely or a harbinger of things to come?
The scary part of this faux action reality is it doesn’t really seem that far off now. An insurrection of the Capitol by crazed armed fanatics seeking to upset the justice system definitely helps blur the lines of reality and fiction.
Adela (Ana de la Reguera, Army of the Dead) and Juan (Tenoch Huerta, Spectre) crossed over to the US border 10 months ago for a shot at the American dream.
Adela is working at a restaurant with a kind immigrant-friendly owner Darius (Sammi Rotibi, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice). Juan works as a stable hand for a well off farmer (Will Patton) although Juan isn’t sure his son, Dylan (Josh Lucas), takes too kindly to Mexicans.
Dylan explains he’s not racist and has nothing against any other races. But maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea if everyone just stayed with their own kind. While Dylan seems like a prime candidate to go purging, he’s making sure his father’s grounds are safe. Not just for his father and sister, (Leven Rambin, The Hunger Games) but his pregnant wife, Emma (Cassidy Freeman, Smallville).
Adela and Juan don’t have a luxury ranch with sealed gates and surveillance cameras covering every blade of grass on the grounds however. They’ve got to hunker down in a warehouse under protection of paid ex-military.
Director Everardo Gout (Luke Cage) doesn’t indulge too much on the standard 12-hour purge. That’s the norm for the franchise and there’s not a lot new to warrant extended sequences on the carnage and random murder and mayhem. Gout does foreshadow a major problem with a small caravan rolling through claiming to be Purifiers who want restore to America to its previous luster by ‘ridding it’ of all minorities. All they’re missing is red hats to complete the look.
So yeah, this is a little uncomfortably too lifelike. At least in this movie, the hateful racists actually get killed.
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The “fun” occurs at daybreak with the end of the purge. It’s time to get back to normal — after dutifully spraying off the blood from storefronts and the streets and disinfecting everything else. And someone might want to deal with those wolf-like dogs eating the carcasses of victims on front yards.
Little does anyone know that while the government declared the purge to last 12 hours, a radicalized group that mobilized on social media decided this Purge doesn’t end. It’s the Ever After Forever Purge and there’s no time limit on this one.
Shifting the Purge from a solely nighttime event to one in broad daylight somehow makes it more frightening. Gout exhausts his jump scares during the early portion to deliver some solid legit scares without the easy cover of night.
In the wake of this carnage and craziness, Dylan finds himself entrusting his family’s safety to Juan and Adela. Franchise creator/screenwriter James DeMonaco uses this opportunity to tackle some topical conversations about status class, immigration, DREAMers and racial tension. Given that this is a series about brutal violence, DeMonaco can only go but so far, but the effort in an action movie was appreciated.
It’s rare to see Latino leads in action films and even fewer feature a compete husband and wife. De la Reguera is having the action hero 2021 and she gives Adela the kind of kick-tail presence we rarely see in the genre.
Likewise, Huerta is a charming co-lead although some of his strongest scenes are the quieter moments with Lucas. Lucas offers a surprisingly nuanced performance as a man starting to realize his convictions and beliefs were way off. Forced to partner with people you’d rather be apart from will do that to anyone.
In a great irony, Mexico opens its borders to allow US residents to escape the Ever After. This forces Juan, Adela, Dylan and company to make a run for the border while evading the Purifiers.
Gout comes through on the action sequences with some creative kills and incredibly violent acts. It says a lot when we’re rooting for the character to take a sledgehammer to another character’s head. The final act features Juan and company getting an assist from Xavier (Gregory Zaragoza) and his Native American tribe, which feels very fitting in this setting.
The Forever Purge tosses subtlety out as quickly as a hand grenade. Still, there’s something cathartic in watching extremist racists get what they deserve from a collaboration of races coming together. If you’ve been invested in this franchise this far, this is an enjoyable extended session of The Purge.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Photo Credit: Universal Pictures