Directed by: James DeMonaco
Screenplay by: James DeMonaco
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Max Burkholder, Adelaide Kane, Edwin Hodge, Rhys Wakefield, Tony Oller, Arija Bareikis, Tom Yi, Chris Mulkey, Tisha French, Dana Bunch, Peter Gvozdas, Karen Strassmen & Peter Jones
In the future, unemployment and crime are at an all-time low, but every year, crime is legal for twelve hours to keep them low. Now this year a family must survive the purge as invaders break in to take their home.
A psychological thriller that fell flat. Now this movie wasn’t completely bad, it had a lot of potential to be more about a family changing to fight for their lives, growing spines and surviving what should have been an uneventful night for them. Instead, their compassionate son decides to open their house and their security system to a homeless man running for his life.
The movie spans a total of 85 minutes, 60 of those minutes is the family looking for their daughter and the homeless man in their house which is not mansion sized, and yet it takes them that long to find them both. It brings to light the moral dilemma in question: is it right to give this man up for death for our own lives and the safety of their children? Now that I believe, is what the movie is supposed to be about, the moral dilemma some people are faced with in the Purge. Is legal crime one day a year really serve their nation better? But the movie fell short of delivering that message to the audience as a group of people try to break into their house and have the family fight for their lives and that of the man they have tied up.
Given all that, you have Ethan Hawke who was amazing (as always) as he makes his way around the house trying to fend of the invaders who broke through his security system. Invaders who are teenagers dressed as lunatics with such an urge to kill. That was a good premise and a good plot line, but ultimately fell short as their jealous and hateful neighbors come out of nowhere to kill the invaders so that they can kill the family themselves. One Lena Headey spends most of her time carrying a gun she never uses them screams and barely fights back, telling the invaders and her neighbors to keep their hands off her and her children instead of actually fighting and rising to the challenge. For a woman who is very adept at playing a strong warrior woman, playing a woman who has little strength, until the very last minute, was incredibly lame.
The premise and the moral dilemma that this movie brings to light is was good, but the delivery was ultimately lackluster. ★★ (C-)