Review: The Purge (2013)

the purge movie poster

“Tonight allows people a release for all the hatred and violence that they keep up inside them.”
– James Sandin

SYNOPSIS: In the future, a wealthy family is held hostage for harboring the target of a murderous syndicate during the Purge, a 12-hour period in which any and all crime is legalized. – via IMDB

the purge

GRADE 5I didn’t really expect huge things from this film seeing as just about anyone and everyone slammed it for being a disappointment, but seriously I didn’t realise it was so much so. The concept itself was perfectly fine and it had the potential to be great but screwed up any chances of that rapidly. Ethan Hawke is doing more horrors? When did this happen? I have no issue with this, it’s just… weird. Max Burkholder was very unconvincing, everything about his character contradicted other parts of his character and he just… annoyed me, but whatever. I didn’t actually want to stab Lena Headey for a change, though she certainly is magnetic. The only person that had even just a teeny tiny bit of something to bring forth was Rhys Wakefield as the Polite Leader who successfully terrorised the family from outside. He was certainly odd and strange and a little cooked in the head and a serious believer in The Annual Purge. I don’t know, for something that could have been interesting and fun and all that, it was awfully bland and boring, silly and all the rest of it. I couldn’t even identify with the family at all. There was so much nonsensical nonsense going on at any given moment, too, which was highly annoying. The concept is weird, but has potential. A lot. Instead, we get a relatively run of the mill home invasion movie with a little twist on that concept, but not enough to blow me away. So much more could have been done. The movie just felt flat, badly paced, and illogical. I believe there is a sequel coming to this, and it makes no sense to continue with this at all. Oh well.

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24 thoughts on “Review: The Purge (2013)

  1. CMrok93 says:

    Good review Zoe. It’s a premise that held so much promise to begin with, but by the end, just felt like it had nothing else better to do with itself. Shame too, because there could have been plenty of compelling, thought-provoking discussions to be had with this.

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    • Zoë says:

      Thanks Dan. I completely understand what you mean, I thought this could really have been so much more and it just fell flat. Maybe the sequel corrects itself?

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  2. Tom says:

    Great write-up Zoe, I really couldn’t agree more with what you said here and esp. as you finish it. I simply am stunned they are going ahead with a sequel.

    This was a relatively curious concept that woulda been fun had it not been a single-setting movie. Such a disappointment. Oh yeah, and the acting was absolutely shiite. 😀

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    • Zoë says:

      Thanks Tom!

      I agree with you. Really there could have been so much more to do with it and instead this is what we got AND a sequel in the making? Why, oh why? And the only somewhat interesting character was incredibly short lived, too!

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      • Tom says:

        heh, you gave the film even more cred than I did! I didn’t even think that guy was all that good, but perhaps he was just the very best part of the film. I also loved the plot’s contradictions. . .so this is a night where all crime is legal, right? You can purge it out of your system? So why did these fellas feel the need to bust into this house wearing freaky masks?? lol, who did they have to hide from?!

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      • Zoë says:

        Yeah not the strongest character of all time, but in comparison to the rest of them, he had a little bit more going for him than the others!

        Exactly! It is like you hide your identity while going all mad and all that, but you are permitted to do so?!

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  3. thycriticman says:

    This one was a real shame. I will likely still be watching the sequel later this year. Why you may ask? Simply because the concept, while silly, is clever and full of great potential. I mean, they can fit so many unique stories in this world. Imagine a person being stuck outside, or a person hell bent on stacking up as many kills as possible. Hopefully the second one’s the charm…

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    • Zoë says:

      I agree, it was so sad! I will be watching the sequel, I can understand why. The concept is solid and they are saying it will be closer to what I had been expecting in the first one… we shall see. You should go check out Confessions of a Nerf Herder, he recently posted about it, sounds similar to the concept you are thinking about!

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      • thycriticman says:

        Took your advice and looked into it. It is exactly what I was hoping for. Now, I just require faith and high hopes that it will be a superior film. Which is not a challenging task when you think about it.

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