Gilberto Says THE FIRST PURGE Is A Fresh And Different Direction In The Franchise

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FILM REVIEW: THE FIRST PURGE

BY GILBERTO CAMPA

Serving as a prequel to the 2013 film that launched the Purge franchise, The First Purge takes a look into the origins and the development of the annual event that occurs in this dystopian version of the United States. The movie stars Y’lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, Jolvan Wade, Luna Velez and Marisa Tomei and is set to be released right in time for the Fourth of July. This is the first movie of the series that is not directed by James DeMonaco which was evident due to elements that were different from the previous films. Much of the movie is filled with very eye opening and disturbing visuals that speak to many thoughts and ideas that people have in the United States today. Significantly when it comes to minorities in lower class neighborhoods.

The main motivation for the Purge is to help bring the crime rate down to 1%. This leads the new finding fathers of America, NFFA, to test a sociological theory which vents aggression for one night only. The experiment is assisted by The Architect, Marisa Tomei, who when asked by members of the media does not see the purge as a political move, but a psychological experiment that will see what people will do when killing is legalized for an extended period of time. As we are introduced to our core group of characters who will all be involved in the events to come, like the previous Purge movies, the alarm goes off and it’s time for all eyes on Staten Island. A majority of the actors in the film are new comers and the two that really stood out for me were Y’lan Noel (Dmitri) and Lex Scott Davis (Nya). It is hinted that they had a previous relationship before the events of the First Purge begin and we get to find out more as the night continues to get worse and worse. When things begin to not go as planned, the NFFA decide to change things up in a sense by bringing in mercenaries disguised as gang members, police and even members of the KKK to initiate kills as the majority of the population seems to not be interested in turning on each other as the analyst predicted which gives an added twist to the already horrendous situation.

The visuals for this movie were very striking because of where they were placed. Throughout the middle of the movie, you see people attacking a church, which is something is all too familiar considering the last few years, and a lot of the costumes and masks that strike as symbols like a Nazi scientist and a soldier with a Blackface mask on. Luckliy, you do get to see what ends up happening to him once Dmitri gets involved. I felt that this movie was showing more than we have seen before in the previous Purge films and it wasn’t just about the killing as much the themes of race relations, gentrification, class issues and, of course, moral quandaries that will continue to be looked at. The First Purge serves as not only another entertaining thriller but a thriller that says a lot about where we are in our country in certain aspects so, because of that I would recommend checking it out.

 

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