Review: The Forever Purge

While The Purge was originally a slow burn house invasion thriller, the franchise quickly switched gears with it’s second entry and became the more action focussed series we’ve all come to know and expect at this point. The The Forever Purge, the fifth entry in the franchise at this point, sees the reintroduction of the annual purge after its abolishment at the end of the of The Purge: Election Year.

This franchise has never really been highbrow entertainment however the series hasn’t been shy of addressing current political issues with light-hearted tops such as racism and elitism being frequently used as backdrops to the bloody violence depicted on screen and this latest entry in the series is perhaps the most political of them all as it also addresses immigration as well touching on the little issue of how America came to be to begin with.

However, that’s not to say that The Forever Purge is devoid of the violence and chaos we’ve come to know and love from the series, far from it. The Forever Purge may actually be the most accurate representation of what would happen should the purge ever actually happen.

Set almost entirely in Texas, the latest entry in the franchise asks the question of what would happen if the annual purge took place as planned and the country didn’t stop once the sirens wailed to signal the end. As a result, and for the first time in the franchise, the violence is brought into the light as the film follows a group of survivors doing their best to make it to sanctuary in the days following the purge in what is essentially a second American civil war.

The film is well directed by Everardo Valerio Gout and stars a host of familiar faces such as Josh Lucas, Ana de la Reguera, Cassidy Freeman and we’re even treated to a short appearance from the legendary Will Patton. Together, the cast’s efforts combine with the Gout’s directorial vision to create a terrific ensemble piece about survival in what would surely be recorded their darkest days.

At this point we’re five films and a TV show deep into the franchise, it can be hard to find something original and fresh to keep you engrossed and willing to come back for more however I think The Forever Purge does just enough to keep itself from feeling stagnant and the film does have some interesting ideas that it plays with and as a result you remain engaged throughout the 1hr 45min runtime.

I found The Forever Purge to be a perfectly entertaining entry into the franchise and it’ll be one that fans of the series will enjoy sinking their teeth into. My only issue is unlike the previous entries, this one feels like it requires previous knowledge of what has come before as it wastes nearly no time in world building before thrusting you head first into the annual purge and resulting aftermath. The biggest question on my mind after this one though, is where could the franchise possibly go from here?

by Edward Laing