When the news broke that The First Purge would be released, I was curious about the idea of a prequel and getting a chance to peak behind the curtain and see how this bizarre government experiment all began. Admittedly I am a fan of the series, with the original being a standard home invasion film, with the two sequels, Anarchy and Election Year, giving fans what they wanted in the form of an all out free for-all-horror adventure.
Following the formula of the previous sequels, The First Purge delivers exactly what fans would hope for in the form of the very first purge. Set in Staten Island, New York, the story centers around an isolated experiment in the city ordered by the recently elected New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA), painted as a third party national political option to the Democrats and Republicans.
With almost all crime legal for 12 hours, the hope of the experiment is to weed out the poor and push the unemployment rate to 1 percent or lower to improve the economy. The main cast of characters include Nya, played by Lex Scott David, and her younger brother Isaiah, played by Jovian Wade. Trapped on Staten Island and desperately trying to keep themselves and others safe, Nya and Isaiah reluctantly receive help from an old friend while dodging purgers, including a memorable villain named Skeletor, as well as the NNFFA themselves.
The First Purge stands out as one of the best, if not the best, in the entire franchise. The characters are likable, the action is plentiful, and the cinematography and score are a joy to experience. With that in mind, one must question the mixed reviews the film has received across the internet and on social media. According to the most recent Google search, the latest Purge film has a 52 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 5.3/10 on IMDB. However, 83 percent of Google users have approved of the film, with the Cinemascore sitting at a solid B-. While most critics and fans rip into movies because of the acting, directing, writing, or other film-related aspects, The Purge series and its latest release seem to have found itself caught in the middle of the current political implosion in the country.
It started early on during the film's marketing with the teaser poster that was released showing a white background and red hat with lettering that replaced President Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan with the words "The First Purge." In the film itself, we see some subtle, and some not so subtle jabs at the current political climate and president, including the main character Nya referring to a groping purger as a "pu**ygrabber." While the core story of the franchise has revolved around the government and politics, much of the negative reception seems to be a direct result of the current political climate.
Conclusion: The First Purge is an action packed and well-acted entry into a franchise that many didn't believe would even get this far. While not for everyone due to the violence, as well as the political and social commentary, the film is an wild ride that clocks in at just under 2 hours.
Final score: 8/10
-ABOUT THE AUTHOR-
Robert Sobel has been a horror, sports, history and movie buff for close to 30 years. He's been a professional news writer for the last seven years, with his work being promoted on various outlets like Yahoo and Google, with celebrities like Cher and Roseanne Barr sharing his content.