The Purge

In the year 2022, unemployment’s at 1% and crime is virtually nonexistent in America. How is this possible? For one night—12 hours—each year, crime is legal. While there are exceptions to the rule, helpfully displayed on-screen, pretty much anything goes during this period. That’s the setup for The Purge, a thriller that wants to be more high-minded than it ends up. The film touches on the socioeconomic implications of “the purge”—namely, the rich can afford to barricade themselves, the poor can’t, and the rich decide to go after the poor to “cleanse” society. The film’s 85-minute runtime doesn’t allow for a deep analysis of the issues surrounding “the purge,” though, so the film ends up trading social commentary for standard-fare destruction, with a twist of sorts thrown in regarding conspicuous consumption at the end. The concepts presented are interesting enough, but it’s a shame that the film’s creators didn’t explore anything more in-depth.

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