Rating: Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Indy Star’s cartoonist Gary Varvel may hate this film, but that’s all the more reason to see it.
The Purge is a slashing expose of political thought in this country masquerading as a futuristic sci-fi/horror film. In what appears to be a rehash of prior films involving a family under siege in their own home, Writer/Director James DeMonaco lays waste to Tea Party proponents and their conservative acolytes. It’s a human recreation of George Orwell’s “Animal House” (1945).
As everyone knows, the daily mantra heard in the House of Representatives in Washington as well as Fox News is the need to cut the national deficit. While supporters embrace using taxpayers money to remodel luxury suites at the Colts’ Lucas Oil Stadium, they cry out to reduce Social Security and Medicare payments to our aging population. They won’t dare allow any reasonable changes in our gun laws, but they embrace slashing food stamps for our hungry children.
What Mr. DeMonaco has done with The Purge is create a future America in 2022 that embodies the Tea Party philosophy to the extreme. Modern day Founding Fathers are applauded for reducing crime and public expenditure by creating a 12-hour period every year in March when no laws apply to anything. In other words, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., you can kill, maim and rob at your leisure.
On the surface, the film involves the family of a home security salesman named James Sandin who pay the price for kindness. Though they and other well-to-do Americans are able to secure their property in a fashion that makes them nearly completely safe, Mr. Sandin’s son permits a besieged black man to enter their home to avoid impending death. The question concerns whether the stranger truly is in dire need, or was he simply using a ruse to kill the family?
Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey play the Sandins, and they do a superb job of embracing the consequences of a society that has turned upside down. They soon find their house under siege by a group of intriguing killers who only want the wealthy Sandins to turn over their seemingly homeless refugee or pay the consequences.
What follows is a ghastly ordeal for the Sandins. In effect, what The Purge represents is the United States twisting the Tea Party’s demand to reduce food stamp payments by simply killing the poor and unemployed.
The public and news media are seen praising a country for recognizing the need to eliminate the homeless begging on every street corner when not in prison, not to mention constantly living on the public dole. Since none of them have the financial means to secure their safety during the purge, why not wipe out as many as possible during a 12-hour period every year?
In The Purge we see the results of an horrific national policy that reduces the need to care for the poor, the elderly and the dispossessed. If the government doesn’t care if they suffer, why worry if they die?
The problem for the Sandins becomes a problem for all of us. If you try to act in the name of Heaven, don’t you then become as expendable as those desperate people on the run?
I wanted to like this movie, and I started out liking the world they built, but the plot and characters’ behavior quickly grew ludicrious. By the end, me and everyone else in my audience were howling at how stupid the movie had become. Until I saw Grown Ups 2 (shudder), this was my pick for worst of the year! I like that you were able to read so much into it though.