Hell is other people.
Photo: Jake Giles Netter / Universal Pictures / 2021 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS. All rights reserved.

the Purge the series was born in rage, and to rage it must return. In interviews, writer and director James DeMonaco traced the origin of the films to a brawl he once engaged in when a deranged drunk driver nearly killed him and his wife on the freeway. Brooklyn-Queens. Afterward, DeMonaco recalls, his wife – an otherwise lovely doctor – said, “Wouldn’t it be great if we all got one free a year?” It emerged with the premise of a dystopian but seemingly peaceful United States where every year for 12 hours just about all crimes are legal and citizens are allowed to kill, rape, and pillage at will.

The first movie, 2013 The purge, used this idea primarily as a clever but vague backdrop for a fun, slightly futuristic home invasion thriller starring Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey. It was with the second entry, that of 2014 The Purge: Anarchy, that DeMonaco took to the streets to show what Purge Night looked and felt like, and the movies took on their full meaning with a cavalcade of monsters ripped from American identity: madmen, mad preachers, racist henchmen , snipers, sadistic gangs, lone vigilantes and wealthy psychopaths, overseen by opportunistic politicians manipulating the dysfunction of society for their own murderous ends. Whatever the artistic merits of an entry to the series (shocking: Not all movies are good!), It’s heartening to see a major studio franchise reflecting the toxic impulses of American society through its own twisted lens. and soaked in blood. The five Purge the films (and the two-season TV series, canceled last year) recognize that what really drives American society is rage, and that it propels ideology left, right and center – and not the reverse.

This becomes particularly clear with The eternal purge, the most confrontational and nihilistic of films as well as the darkest and most contemplative. Devoted viewers may recall that Purge Night was defeated with the happy ending of 2016 the Purge: Election year – released only a few months before the election of a president who could himself have been a character straight out of a Purge movie. The new opus tells a story as neo-western as an urban survival thriller. Directed by Everardo Valerio Gout, it opens with Juan (Tenoch Huerta) and Adela (Ana de la Reguera), two Mexican immigrants fleeing cartel violence to rebuild their lives across the border in Texas, where they are greeted, unsurprisingly, with a wall on which is scrawled “These colors do not run”. Juan finds work on a ranch; Adela, in a meat packing plant. Unfortunately for them, however, Purge Night has been re-established, and various groups of seemingly unrelated psychopaths have decided that one night of slaughter just wasn’t enough.

Some of the killers belong to white nationalist militias determined to “purify” American society. Others are workers who seek to slaughter their bosses, complaining about exploitation and slave wages. One of the franchise’s most obvious acknowledgments is that many Americans are not seeking justice or some other explicitly political goal; the Purgers just want the carnage, and they’ll come up with every possible justification.

The result is an unlikely coalition of the good guys. Juan and Adela join wealthy rancher Dylan Tucker (Josh Lucas) and his pregnant wife, Cassie (Cassidy Freeman), among others, as they attempt to flee to (irony alert!) Mexico, which has now opened its border to American refugees. Dylan is a fanatic with a locker full of weapons who is humbled that Juan is a better horse trainer than he is. Previously Purge movies, a character like this would have been a prime candidate to use Purge Night to express his resentments, but Dylan actually hates the event and just wants to experience it. He’s not unrecoverable, and it’s clear from the start that trying to survive the Purge forever alongside an assortment of immigrants and activists will help him see the light. Even America’s so-called New Founding Fathers – the establishment sadists who instituted the Purge in the first place – aren’t the main villains this time around. In fact, the NFFA is using the military to try and prevent post-purge from happening, although not very effectively.

The purge forever jumps through a variety of styles and subgenres as you go; some extended sequences will remind you of a Mad Max leaf through. The mishmash is oddly appropriate. The gender identity of the Purge cinema has always been nebulous. When a few scares appear at the start of the new movie, they feel completely unnecessary. We are not going to Purge films for fleeting fears. We go for the existentials.

Once upon a time, the innate horror of humans could have been a controversial notion. the Purge the films have gone back and forth on the subject: in the 2018 prequel, The first purge, We saw how the attendees of the very first Purge Night initially resisted violence, choosing to spend their free night partying. But this new film settles the question once and for all. After eight years of taking the pulse of the country, the Purge the films have decided that the patient is terminally ill.

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