THE FIRST PURGE (2018)

first1purge

Directed By: Gerard McMurray
Written By: James DeMonaco
Cinematography By: Anastas N. Michos
Editor: Jim Page

Cast: Y’Lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, Marisa Tomei, Luna Lauren Velez, Joivan Wade, Patch Darragh, Melonie Diaz, Steve Harris, Derek Basco, Chyna Layne, Kristin Solis, Mo McRae, Desiigner

America’s third political party, the New Founding Fathers of America, comes to power and conducts an experiment: no laws for 12 hours on Staten Island. No one has to stay on the island, but $5,000 is given to anyone who does.

Here we go again, only now we are starting at the beginning. As this is a prequel

This might as well be a George A. Romero movie as thick as the political allegories are here. Where the film is obviously trying to hold a mirror up to the modern political climate.

This film Serves a a prequel a set-up for the other films though not quite as exhilarating. It’s actually doesn’t feel as violent as the others but it is just as heartless at times. That feels like it is trying to preach while bathed in blood Itself.

Though left open ended but other then this being an origin story. This film has very little effect or lasting connections other then obvious tradition that set these films up and similar political elements. Setting up the beginning of the new founding fathers who more or less reign supreme over the other films and slowly take center stage with each new sequel. As they are portrayed as the people behind it all in so much make-up smiling for the camera showing them to be puppets almost. Selling things to people Against their own interests for some quick cash.

Here the film once again slowly devolves more into a basic action film. That has elements of the political before just mainly focusing in on the action.

The film does offer impressive stylish action sequences. Though the film seems to be just general and adequate as it doesn’t provide anything shocking. It just seems like it is going through the motions of setting up everything.

This is a film where you nod your head a bunch as many of the character should have known better.

This film feels more like a modern blacksploitation film. As it seems to go the route in a way to woo an audience and set itself a bit apart. Though adds in more social relevant horror. As in previous films minorities have been more supporting roles while here they are given more diversity in characters, community and representation in the leading roles. Maybe as a Hail Mary to who the filmmakers feel are more not only the victims but more the audience for this franchise. Rather then being villains or being saved with a great white hope Caucasian character. The audience for this film is kind of tipped off also by the more hip hop heavy soundtrack. Though it also seems like it could have been a pilot for the eventual limited television series.

Here the Caucasians are all mostly the villains (again like an exploitation film) with plenty of white supremesist, nazi political imagery. Where we are once again reminded of the unfortunate current political and racial climate. Here it also gives minorities a gift of fulfillment as they are free to strike back and still be seen as heroic even while being violent, more out of defense. –As the film feeds into beliefs of what is going on politically behind the scenes. As the film feels almost like an apocalyptic exploitation film.

This is an origin tale that seems confused as always. As we seem to have a drug dealer who imports and sells drugs and seemingly only kills other bad guys and other gangsters. Yet seemingly is killing his own neighborhood With his actions before the purge is put into place. As a hero Whose influence and firepower help him to be a hero. Though wonder why the film chooses him to be the hero to showcase him As the ultimate anti-hero who hears a call to arms and decides the neighborhood he has helped To poison.

Where the films original concept seems to fall by the wayside as now it seems more aimed at violence and action. Not to mention inspiring costumes and outfits. (Kind of like the inspired gangs in the movie THE WARRIORS) –This film is so obviously aimed at the trump presidency and gop era. As it even has a character yell at a cretin “you evil crazy pussy grabbing mo fo”

The lead has the physicality and charisma Of an action star wish the film provided him the chance to more impress with better action sequences.

The films seem to become dumber and more obvious as they go along. At first you could lose yourself in these films with the violence.

Looked at it as more par for the course. This hits closer to home with it’s statements and politics.

Marisa Tomei who is the biggest and most recognizable star in the film seems like she will be a lead or supporting character though comes off by the end as more a celebrated cameo or guest star as her character disappears half way through the film. When it comes to Marisa Tomei’s Character the film Decides to give her a death scene that Must be shown. But only through security footage to tie up the loose ends of her character but also not show her on screen. Which just feels so impersonal for an important character that the film has set up.

Though this leaves an ending that seems more like a celebration of survival with each film. Where it seems to provide a memorable action sequence. It also ends more on a spirit of hope , resistance and defiance. Yet we know the destruction and devastation to come on a bigger scale

Grade: C

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