HOLLYWOOD—When “The Purge” arrived in theaters in 2013 it was pure genius. I mean this movie had a concept that was unheard of, clever, thrilling, scary as hell and with a narrative that gripped you. After that the subsequent sequels, beyond “The Purge: Election Year” have fallen flat. You can only do so many sequels to a story before you say enough is enough. That is the case with “The Forever Purge” which is slated to be the final installment in the franchise.
If that title says anything, this absolutely needs to be the final installment in the franchise that quite frankly has gone as stale as a piece of bread. The first flick did a great job of addressing the haves and the have nots and how the purge was more politically motivated than people expected. It was not just about people killing other people it was for the sake of the economy and it had various racial undertones as well. I would argue similar sentiment was echoed in the third installment “Election Year,” but what “The Forever Purge” even attempts is silly.
Apparently the annual purge event has been resurrected by the founding fathers, where all crime including murder is legal for a 12-hour period. That’s good, that’s dandy, but it is what happens after the annual event ends that just makes no sense. A group of mercenaries, that is the best word I can use to describe them, decided to hold what they call ‘The Forever Purge,’ a purge after the purge to continue the tradition. It becomes so popular that it begins to spread across the entire country as a select group of few fight off hillbillies and hateful individuals in an attempt to reach the Mexican border for safety.
Yes, this movie tried to play with the issue of race, this time with a rancher, Dylan Tucker portrayed by Josh Lucas who has a clouded place of judgment. He doesn’t come out and say he’s a racist, but his actions tend to say otherwise, especially when it comes to his Mexican farmhand Juan (Tenoch Huerta). The tension between Dylan and Juan is obvious from the moment they first appear on the screen together, and it doesn’t help that Dylan’s father, Caleb (Will Patton), in an iconic role one might say, doesn’t just call his son out on his antics.
Simply put you see two people from two very different backgrounds unite in an effort to fight off foes trying to kill them and members of their family. By the end of the movie, they both have a better understanding for each other. There is not much more to the narrative than that. There is still violence, still outlandish kills and there is no evolution to the purge than what was witnessed in its first outing. We’ve had a total of five flicks in the franchise, with the last two being the worst out of the bunch.
It was a unique idea when it first arrived almost a decade ago, but “The Forever Purge” has proven that any franchise can run out of gas, and this one is beyond empty at this point. It is time to put the purge in the past and focus on something else.