The Forever Purge

The Forever Purge ★★★½

I will keep applauding this series' complete disinterest in subtlety long after they stop making them. That's the power of genre film, really, that you can make something so unabashedly on the nose but so compulsively watchable at the same time. When conservative art dares to be so blunt you get the self-righteous made-for-TV aesthetic of God's Not Dead, a movie I still assume was written by an atheist to make fun of Christians, or the incomprehensible delirium of a Ben Garrison cartoon. The difference between what those and the Purge movies leave on the table is miniscule, and yet the popular perception of this franchise is still solely wrapped up in the goofy popcorn absurdity of its initial premise.

Surprisingly, this franchise still has steam, and this the best one yet. Compared to the last one, it actually pulls its punches, with the implication that the forever purgers are a sign that the Republicans "NFFA" have lost control of the monster they created, instead of being an obvious consequence that those in power are at BEST indifferent to, as is the case with the violent white supremacists all over America that they are constructed to explicitly resemble. Filmed pre-COVID, which seems like a lifetime ago in general but especially in politics, it's actually kind of quaint how optimistic it is in its assumption that the US government would deploy the military against white supremacist mobs. It's a fantasy, deal with it!

As usual, we don't have characters so much as vessels for violence and political commentary, but we have what we need - a Mexican immigrant couple, their racist boss and his family, who all believed they successfully made it through another Purge (though a great montage scene shows their very different methods for doing so - when you have enough money to feel secure, it's more like a spooky sleepover) having to come together and grow the fuck up once they realize the siren calling it off doesn't make them safe. It's nasty, it's silly, it doesn't waste any time, DeMonaco's continued involvement ensures that the franchise continues to build on its established themes and build stakes, and it's the only pure exploitation at the blockbuster level.
Ergo, the only ethical franchise.

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