The First Purge is weak, especially in its creative departments
When continuing a long running franchise, a process is needed to bring together the ideas held by the creative team on how to advance what has come before, without losing the spirit of the series. The First Purge had a great chance to start a new story line, with interesting new characters, based around the initial creation of The Purge. Instead it becomes a mildly enthralling chase thriller with no real fear, and no exciting selling points.
The American government is obsessed with eradicating the nation’s terrible issues with crime. Bringing in top sociologist Dr. May Updale (Marisa Tomei), a trial event is put into place on Staten Island where, for 12 hours, all crime will be legal. However, the event becomes unpredictable and devastating very quickly, with the results seeming questionably suspicious from the very beginning.
A complete lack of fear in a film such as The First Purge can be seen as a cardinal sin; That is what the franchise is there to offer. Fear is its leading resource, or at least it should be, and all the film can do without it is whimper in and out of existence. It doesn’t writhe with edge of the seat moments, it doesn’t enthral with jumps and scares, it just plays out as if it were some simple story set in the dark.
There’s no clever twist, no exciting chase, no danger. It very much sits as a painful reminder of the path all horror franchises end up wandering down. Overworked and under baked, The First Purge is weak, especially in its creative departments.
The acting is acceptable; In fact for a film of this nature it’s quite believable and certainly doesn’t reduce the film’s quality any more than the rest of the production does. But it still isn’t enough for The First Purge to gain any worthwhile positives, and certainly none to take real note of. It’s a franchise with a crisis, and going back to the beginning has only made its situation much much worse.
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