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    September 4, 2013


    Producer Jason Blum comes with another cheap horror production which has the potential to breakout with its unique and intriguing premise. James DeMonaco writes and directs this horror which sets in near future when crime rate and unemployment rate in the United States are at all-time low, thanks to the annual program called The Purge. The annual event allows the citizen to commit a variant degree of crimes with a handful selection of weapons for a period of 12 hours only with all emergency services are suspended and no civil laws will be applicable for these specific crimes been committed. Anyone with hatred, jealousy and frustration deeps in their heart is encouraged to participate and to join in a new revolution to purge the nation with the United States is now a “new nation reborn”.

    Genre: Horror/Thriller
    Classification: 18
    Release Date: 22 August 2013
    Running Time: 85 minutes
    Distributor: Universal Pictures
    Director: James DeMonaco
    Screenplay: James DeMonaco
    Starring: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Adelaide Kane, Max Burkholder, Rhys Wakefield

    Plot: If on one night every year, you could commit any crime without facing consequences, what would you do? In The Purge, a speculative thriller that follows one family over the course of a single night, four people will be tested to see how far they will go to protect themselves when the vicious outside world breaks into their home. In an America wracked by crime and overcrowded prisons, the government has sanctioned an annual 12-hour period in which any and all criminal activity-including murder-becomes legal. The police can't be called. Hospitals suspend help. It's one night when the citizenry regulates itself without thought of punishment. On this night plagued by violence and an epidemic of crime, one family wrestles with the decision of who they will become when a stranger comes knocking. When an intruder breaks into James Sandin's (Ethan Hawke) gated community during the yearly lockdown, he begins a sequence of events that threatens to tear a family apart. Now, it is up to James, his wife, Mary (Lena Headey), and their kids to make it through the night without turning into the monsters from whom they hide.
    Does “The Purge” have interesting premises? Yes. Intriguing enough? Yes. What about the ultimate execution? Unfortunately, no and it is done with pretty distraught though. With so many directions that the story can head up to, DeMonaco chooses to present it in a home-invasion style instead. There is nothing wrong with that decision though DeMonaco could have offered something refreshing onto the table. The fact is that it has been so long since a home invasion flick really that works; perhaps the last in my recent memory was Jodie Foster’s Panic Room back in 2002. With nothing new to offer, “The Purge” roughly re-chews every horror elements from something familiar and digests them into something predictable and cliché. Some of the plot elements are also redundant, disconnected, filled with plot-holes and bizarrely-made that at most of the time, the audiences will not be able to comprehend the motivation of the whole story mechanic. And by the time the opus twist is revealed at the right end, no one should cheer this with a reasonable cocktail to celebrate for.

    But the worst of all is yet to come. If Home Alone is so enjoyable for trying to be silly and fun coating over the nuance and naivety, The Purge takes on the opposite route by being horribly silly and stupid when it tries so hard to be dead pan serious on every occasion. Spend some times to ponder on this - you do not spend that extra cash to develop a security system full of those extra plate crap metals that can be easily torn down. And you should learn not to flip-flop your own decision in a blink of an eye to save the stranger and hoping that he somehow will return you a favour. Also one does not measure the success of The Purge by depending on the number of people dead each year without proper academic consultation. If you go deep and analyze it, most likely the truth is that “The Purge” is filled with so much logical flaws that do not add any value to the plot itself.

    Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey’s appearances in “The Purge” are not sufficient to firepower the movie into greatness. Just like the redundant and silly plot, the two leads decide to revert into behavioural stupidity along the way. Most of the time, Hawke and Headey’s performances are passable in a small tonic volume of sophistication but when they were given some ridiculous dialogues to deliver, it makes thing just bad. To add salt onto the wound, their two teenager kids are just blandly annoying and non-sensible which makes thing now from been bad to worse. And just like the madness in the annual purging event, everyone seems to become so at this particular night, and the cheap version of Joker in the main antagonist is merely a cheap outplay on the character study.

    In the end, despite having a brilliant concept all written on the wall, “The Purge” never really probes its own idea to find the perfect balance of the morality argument and spends most of the time venturing into a whole familiar zone of cheap and unrealistic home-invasion horror. Top that with bad and illogical flaw on the plot elements to go along with a bad acting, “The Purge” is indecisive enough to be labelled as an accidental joke or an unintended mess.

    Story: 2.0
    Casts: 2.0
    Cinematography: 3.0
    Effects: 3.0
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 8.4/20.0

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