If you’ve ever flown Tiger Airways, you’ve had the urge to kill another human.
Obviously, you don’t. That would be illegal. However, if it wasn’t illegal, both the unhelpful mouse-faced woman at the booking desk and the heavy-set gentleman eating an entire BBQ chicken in the seat next to you would be in the firing line.
Instead, you suppress your rage. Bottle it. Push it deep down inside you until you get home, kick your cat into the refrigerator and throw your iPad at your wife. Is this healthy? Not according to the future.
It’s 2022. Years prior, those in charge of America (fuurk yeah) have come up with a novel idea to reduce the ever increasing crime rate – legalise crime once a year for 12 hours.
WHAT? Yep. ALL CRIME? You bet. EVEN MURDER? Stop yelling.
From 7pm to 7am on one night each year, Americans partake in The Purge, a no-holds-barred crime orgy where you can do pretty much whatever you want without any consequences. As you may have guessed, rather than go on a jaywalking rampage or spending these precious hours downloading pirated episodes of House of Cards, most Americans elect to kill people on Purge Night.
The theory here is that people need to get a bit of killing and crime out of their system once a year and this reduces the overall crime rate for the other 364.5 days. This sounds like a real Clive Palmer strategy; something he might bellow out on the back of a T-Rex with a KFC Twister in both hands. But, unlike the people of Coolum, it works. Crime is down. People are happy. Purging is a success. ‘Murica.
Ethan Hawke plays a slick security system salesman with two annoying kids and a wife. Ethan has done fairly well for himself, as the well-off 1-percenters love to lock down their house like a Bing Lee in a dodgey neighbourhood on Purge Night.
On this Purge Night, Ethan locks his mansion down as always. Steel curtains come down. The alarms are set. The external cameras are ready. The guns are in the gun cupboard, just in case. The Cadbury Favourites are in a large glass bowl, just asking to be eaten. Lockdown begins.
Suddenly, and thankfully, Ethan’s idiot son provides us with something resembling entertainment when he disarms the security system midway through the Purge to let in an injured homeless man running from a bunch of crazed purgers. This act of kindness is rewarded by the arrival of a dozen masked Purgers on the lawn, brandishing machetes and high powered firearms.
The masked Purgers have an ultimatum – give us the homeless man you’re harbouring and we won’t tear your house down and kill your family, a relatable problem we’ve all faced at one point. The only issue is that the homeless man is doing his best Madeline McCann impersonation in the darkened house and Ethan and the family can’t find him. Time is ticking. The Purgers are losing patience.
As you can imagine, violence ensues. Shit goes down. Ass is kicked and emotional dialogue is interweaved with all the grace of Clive choking on his moist towelette.
Just like the Bubblegum McFlurry, The Purge is a classic case of great idea, poor execution. The concept is terrific, but throw in Ethan Hawke, a B-Grade cast and a budget that is comparable to that of renovating a small kitchen and you end up with a fairly disappointing result.
It’s hard not to feel like The Purge would have been better suited for television. Somewhere, there is a graph with two lines showing a comparison of the quality of television and movies over time, where The Purge is the tipping point at which one takes over the other? No? Fuck it, i’ll draw one.
There. See? Whatever.
The Purge isn’t great, but the sequel looks better. This probably means you need to get out and watch this one first. Or not. I don’t care what you do, just don’t ever fly Tiger.