The Forever Purge

  • 17 Jul - 23 Jul, 2021
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Reviews

In this dour new installment, it’s time for the purge once again, the umpteenth one for America but the first for Mexican immigrant couple Adela (Ana de la Reguera) and Juan (Tenoch Huerta). Tensions are already thick for them in Texas and so an annual government-approved killing spree is not something they’re particularly excited about. After securing safe shelter for the night, they re-enter the world, surprised yet suspicious that they made it through. But they soon discover that for some, the purge isn’t over. A rebel group has decided that 12 hours isn’t enough and their primary target is anyone they don’t deem to be a true American.

The Purge films are never quite as thought through, a rambling thesis drunkenly scrawled onto a bar napkin that never really makes a lot of sense. The stabs at satire here are laughably unsubtle yet delivered with a silly sense of winking pride, like we should be impressed that they even made the tiniest of effort.

After the all guns-blazing finale of The First Purge, the follow-up continues the franchise’s conscious move away from horror and further into action, which means that while the film is never scary, and never really tries to be, there’s at least a pacey escalation of set-pieces, decent enough to keep us awake but generic enough for us to forget them soon after.

It’s hard to know how seriously we’re supposed to take any of this when it’s so unclear what the makers’ intention is and so the film’s deeper cuts fail to truly wound because so much of it is mired in silliness.

The expansion of the Purge universe has brought with it frustrating echoes of good ideas and some effectively jolting moments of brutality, but it’s a franchise continually buckling under the weight of what it thinks it is and what it thinks it’s saying. The Forever Purge might imply that purging will never end but, unless a major series refresh is on the way, let’s hope that’s not the case.

– Compilation