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  Forever Purge, The Anger Initiative
Year: 2021
Director: Everardo Gout
Stars: Ana de la Reguera, Tenoch Huerta, Josh Lucas, Leven Rambin, Cassidy Freeman, Alejandro Edda, Will Patton, Will Brittain, Sami Rotibi, Zahn McClarnon, Gary Nohealii, Gregory Zaragoza, Brett Edwards
Genre: Horror, Action, Thriller, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: The Purge has been reinstated thanks to the extreme right wing government that has been installed in the United States of America, so that night of mayhem when police, fire crews and medical staff take a break and the citizens are free to break any law they care to, up to and including murder, is about to recommence. The nation is split down the middle about whether this represents a good thing or a bad thing: should they be allowed to let off steam and make the pressure cooker environment of America that bit more stable in the other days of the year, or is this course of events making the situation worse?

What do you think would happen if there was a real Purge in the United States? Previous instalments, not forgetting the television series, were of the opinion that citizens would behave themselves after their one night a year of murderous anarchy and life would go back fifty two more weeks of low level dread and grudge building until it was all unleashed once more. However, for The Forever Purge, franchise author James DeMonaco finally acknowledged that the country was simply too violent to stick to these rules, and once it had a taste of rampant murder and property damage, there was no going back to before.

Therefore in the first act, the return of the Purge ends with all the characters we were introduced to very much alive and kicking, leaving you wondering when it was going to set off again. You would not have long to wait, as it quickly becomes clear the Purgers are having such a great time that the klaxon to signal the end of the night's activities has been ignored, and the killings continue. The politics of the franchise were always on the side of the innocent who struggle to get by when they're caught up in the event, but here they went further: the Purgers were deliberately seeking out those they decided were enemies of America.

What that meant was more than a civil war on the libs by the cons, it was a race war too as anyone who was non-white became fair game for the most violent members of this corrupt society, and that meant immigrants, Mexican ones in particular. We followed meat packer Adela (Ana de la Reguera) and ranch hand Juan (Tenoch Huerta) - who rescues his rich bosses led by Josh Lucas from a mutiny on Purge morning after - as they team up with the now-displaced ranchers on a mad dash to Mexico, as with the heaviest of ironies crossing the border into the South is their only hope for peace. There had never been anything subtle about these films, but even so DeMonaco was at his most rabble-rousing and satirical, outdoing himself for his usual cynicism.

Not that there were no problems in how they went about this. For a horror series produced by Jason Blum, they could have done a lot more imaginative with the bloodshed than cram in a bunch of jump scares and make the most of the anything goes mentality of a berserker Purger. While you got the point they were making, and you could not deny after the Capitol riots in 2021 that there was a large contingent of Americans itching to take violent control of a nation they barely trusted anymore as paranoia went thoroughly mainstream, the filmmakers were always going about their message making with the most obvious, thudding allegories possible. If this counted as an allegory: time would tell if it was crafting a prediction that would come to fruition, indicating America was one weak liberal government away from a rise in bloodthirsty fascism that not so much embraced patriotism as used it as a cudgel to batter any opposition to their reactionary worldview. So as a movie, it was basic pandemonium dystopia, but as a warning, it remained a potent set of concerns. Music by The Newton Brothers.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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