The Purge Reviews
A rotten rating of 48%.
"An interesting premise is turned into a cliched and predictable home-invasion movie. Not as smart or original as it could have been."
Any commentary on class or race is ham fisted at best. The only redemption comes in the form of some decent action in the final third of the movie.
I'm going to get into some spoilers now, so if you don't want it spoiled, I suggest you stop reading now.
The Bad Stuff: Turns out that the daughter's boyfriend sneaked in before the shutters were all in place and he tries to kill the father because he doesn't want his daughter to date that guy. They didn't really give any reason (that I can recall) as to why the dad doesn't like this guy. They mention something about him being older, but I don't think they gave any other reason. So the boyfriend tries to kill the father and fails miserably - gets himself killed. First of all, did he really think the daughter would stay with him if he killed her father? I mean, teenagers tend to be overzealous and sometimes stupid, but this was just dumb.
The villains with the masks were disposed of WAY too easily. Ethan Hawke's character had some minor close calls with them before being killed by the main villain. However, just after the main villain kills the father, a group of neighbors come in and kill all the masked people. Ridiculous, right? Well, it gets worse. The neighbors decide THEY are going to kill the rest of the family. The actors playing the neighbors are actually even bigger over actors than the ones playing the masked killers. They even recite a prayer or chant before attempting to kill the rest of the family, but the family is saved by the Bloody Stranger (which is the name in which his character is credited) that they had let in earlier.
The Good Stuff: The fight scene around the pool table between Ethan Hawke's character and two of the masked people was a very exciting fight scene.
Despite being over the top, the main masked villain is interesting to watch. If the tone of the movie had been a bit more serious and well-written, this could have been a very memorable character.
It was nice to see a thriller that didn't use jump scares at every turn. I think there was only a couple in this film. Many movies use this tactic ad nauseam and after 1 or 2 of them it begins to really annoy some of the audience. It was nice to see a movie where it wasn't constantly trying to scare you cheaply by startling you. Although, this was more of a thriller than a scary movie, so that's probably why.
In Summary: It was an interesting idea that could have been done better. While I didn't hate the movie, I just think it was way too silly for me to recommend it. I haven't seen the sequel(s) yet (there's one out so far, but another in the works as I'm writing this). However, this one showed enough potential that I'd be willing to give this franchise another try. However, if the second one proves to be the same quality or worse, I'll likely avoid any other future installments.