The First Purge

07/09/2018 07:21

Film: The First Purge

Year: 2018

Director: Gerard McMurray

Writer: James DeMonaco

Starring: Y’lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis and Joivan Wade



This series of films I found to be extremely interesting and it really has its finger on the pulse of the country’s political system at the time. The synopsis is after the rise of a third political party, the New Founding Fathers of America, an experiment is conducted. No laws for 12 hours on Staten Island. No one must stay during the experiment yet there is $5,000 for anyone who does.

As I started off saying, this film like the others in the series is definitely political. As the title alludes, this goes to the point where right before the first purge. We learn a little bit about the political system in the United States and how this new third party, the New Founding Fathers of America, is taking the country by storm. I find this interesting, because as someone who doesn’t really think the two party system is working anymore, this couldn’t happen yet. We are getting closer to this, but the problem this film brings up though, is that this new party isn’t good for America. I was slightly worried that the film was going to have a president similar to Donald Trump, especially from the early poster. We don’t really get that though. We do get some corruption, but I will get back to that soon.

I do like the story of this. It does seem that in this timeline, we are running into the problem where the United States is now overpopulated and the economy is crashing. This one though tells us the real reason why the purge is something that is going to happen. A doctor has come up with the idea of purging; she is Dr. Updale (Marisa Tomei). She did not come up with this for the NFFA, but they have embraced the idea. She wants to do this to help lower crime since there is a period of time they can get it out of their system. The chief of staff, Arlo Sabian (Patch Darragh) wants to do it for much different reasons.

This film is out there showing us people purging, much like we get in the 2nd film in the series on, but this one has an interesting dynamic to it. Dr. Updale finds it interesting that people purge with a mask on, kind of explaining why people do it in the other films. It brings up the interesting question, if all of this is legal, why are they hiding their faces. We end up learning why this is done for this film and it is quite nefarious.

The pacing of the film I thought was pretty good. It has a run time slightly over an hour and half, which I thought was good. It gives us a little bit before the purge starts before getting into it, which was good to establish the characters. I didn’t mind how the film ended. It is good to kind of redeem a character since he isn’t the best. A film like this you know how it will end, since it is a prequel. It doesn’t hurt a film like this as it is filling in more of the back-story which helps for other films in the series as well.

I did think that the acting was pretty good. Our main character is Dmitri (Y’lan Noel). What makes him interesting for me is that he is a drug dealer for Staten Island. To go from this though, he actually has morals which I like. It is fun to see a character who is complicated as the hero. We also get an activist who is against the purge, Nya (Lex Scott Davis). I thought she was good and it interesting to see how things fall apart around her as she tries to survive. Her brother is Isaiah (Joivan Wade). I thought he was good as well. He actually wants to purge, for the money. Darragh is good as the nefarious guy government offical. I also like Tomei as she doesn’t want this purge for anything except to help America. I also have to point out Skeletor (Rotimi Paul). He is a drug addict who takes full advantage of this night. I just wish we got more from him. I think the rest of the cast rounds it out well.

The effects for the film were good. We don’t get a lot of them and looked to be done practically. The blood for the film was good. I actually think this film could have done a little bit more in this department. The film was a little bit tamer than I expected and that kind of disappointed me. Now I knew that being the first time this purge happened that it would possible start out that way. I still enjoyed what they did, but I just personally wanted to see a little bit more than what we got.

I will say that the score of the film though was good. I thought it was fitting and definitely helped the scenes. It also helps to build tension for these as well when it needed to. I definitely have nothing negative to say here.

Now with that said, I think this is an above average film in my book. The concept is great and I do love getting more of the back-story of how the purge came to be a thing. It is also interesting that this somewhat coincides with the political atmosphere in the country right now with how divided people currently are. That is something that is incorporated into this film. I thought the acting was really good. The editing of the film was solid as well as the ending. I think that the effects used were good, but I did want a little bit more there. The soundtrack of the film was fitting with exactly what it needed to do. I do wonder how this film will hold up, but I still enjoyed it. If you like this series, check this one out to continue the story on. Overall I think this is an above average film.


My Rating: 7 out of 10