James DeMonaco's The Purge had every potential to be more than just a good home-invasion thriller. The film is set in 2022, and the concept is that for one night every year all criminal activity is legal, giving the rich and privileged one national hunting holiday to vent their anger through killing, ridding the nation of the poor and homeless. This is quite enough to draw the audience in, wanting to see what more the director can do with this gimmicky high-concept.
What's more interesting about this film is its timeliness: there's an element of absurdity in people's over-obsession in killing other people just to release their anger, which serves quite well as a political comment on the much-debated gun control laws in the US, satirising some Americans' love of firearms.
But everything that seems promising at first falls just short: The Purge as a thriller fails to excite and its role as a social commentary also fails to deliver its message.
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