Thursday, Jul 19, 2018
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 43 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




 

 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 6, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 27
Violently unsubtle Purge prequel a dystopian nightmare
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
Violently unsubtle Purge prequel a dystopian nightmare

by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN A&E Writer

THE FIRST PURGE
Now playing


No one would accuse any of the Purge films of being subtle. Set in the not-so-distant future, this stripped-down dystopian horror effort presents an America where, for one night a year, all crime - including murder - is legal. The brainchild of writer/director James DeMonaco, each story showcases what might happen during this evening of debauchery and bloodshed. The 2013 initial entry focused on a suburban home invasion scenario with a wealthy Caucasian family forced to fight for their lives, while its 2014 follow-up The Purge: Anarchy opened up the concept and actually showcased what happens out on the streets of low-income minority neighborhoods. As for 2016's The Purge: Election Year, DeMonaco took things to their logical conclusion, showing just how involved government officials and conservative religious zealots - almost all of them white, male, and very, very rich - were in ensuring that the poor, the disabled, and anyone of minority descent were left lifeless at the end of each and every Purge Night.

With the story pretty much reaching its climax during the last film, DeMonaco wraps things back to the beginning with The First Purge. Turning over the directorial reins to Gerard McMurray (Burning Sands), the story this time is set in an America that is much closer to the one we now live in. A right-wing wannabe oligarch has taken control of the presidency by using a mixture of fear-mongering, race-baiting, and craven subterfuge to convince U.S. citizens to elect him into office. Once in power, he and his minions, calling themselves the New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA), come up with a plan to allow all crime to be legal overnight for one 12-hour period. Calling it 'the Experiment,' this crazy idea will be tested on Staten Island, its low-income citizens offered a cool $5,000 if they remain in the city - more if they take part in the evening's activities.

But this radical sociological theory, the brainchild of scientist Dr. Updale (Marisa Tomei), goes well beyond anything anyone could have imagined, especially after the government secretly sends in disguised agitators, dressed in white supremacist regalia, to systematically kill everyone they encounter with extreme prejudice. It's the template for what the NFFA hopes will become a national event, the seedlings for what will become Purge Night planted underneath the slums of the Staten Island apartment complexes where much of the slaughter will transpire.

It's all as in-your-face and as exploitive as it sounds, DeMonaco not exactly hiding the fact this world he is imagining is very similar to the one we're trying to live in right at this particular moment in history, albeit one without an evening of legalized rape, murder, and all of the rest. But the fear-mongering? The rampant lies? The race-baiting and escalation of tensions between the few haves and the numerous have-nots? The politicization of health care, the rights of immigrants, and social welfare programs designed to assist those in need? It's all here, sitting alongside the stylized ultra-violence and the plethora of obvious, if still admittedly effective, jump scares.

While these movies have never honestly risen to the potential of DeMonaco's premise, that for some reason also hasn't made them any less compelling or diluted their ability to startle. It's an odd franchise, one that hasn't exactly gotten better as it has gone along but, at the same time, still manages to emotionally shock and satirically comment on real social and political problems in a way that is somewhat difficult to turn one's eyes away from. It's a mixed bag, and it's hard not to wonder what might have happened had these films sported a bit more intelligence and weren't so didactically overt in their heavy-handed symbolism.

Even so, I've honestly found plenty to like about all the Purge pictures, even this one. The majority of the actors here acquit themselves admirably, most notably Y'lan Noel as a local drug kingpin who quickly surmises that the Experiment is just an excuse to eliminate Staten Island's minority population and he and his crew are the last line of defense to make sure this doesn't happen. Also quite good here is Lex Scott Davis as a longtime resident and activist who attempts to convince people to not take part in the evening's events only to find herself forced to protect what matters most in her life using all means, including lethal ones, at her disposal. While no one is going to win an Academy Award for their efforts, the collective authenticity of the primary cast is never in doubt, and caring about whether they live or die is surprisingly easy to do.

I'm not sure what else there is to say. As far as The First Purge is concerned, Tomei's appearance is more of a glorified cameo than it is anything else, and I can't say the change from DeMonaco to McMurray in the director's chair gives this prequel a narrative tone or a visual aesthetic all that far removed from its three predecessors. It's all as bluntly heavy-handed as ever, this latest effort even going so far as to feature its very own villain who enjoys grabbing women by the you-know-where just so it can (rightfully) point out just how obscene and intolerable such behavior should be, even if its perpetrators are almost never held accountable. If you liked the other installments in this franchise you owe it to yourself to give this prequel a look, as it's every bit as solid as they were. As for everyone else, why you're even reading this review in the first place I honestly have no idea.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

Oregon Shakespeare Festival celebrates diversity
------------------------------
'Empire' star Serayah headlines Club Silverstone's PRIDE street party in Tacoma on July 14
------------------------------
Not just the big hair - Hairspray's little moments also please
------------------------------
Tony Award®-nominated singer Mary Bridget Davies to appear at Dorothy's Piano Bar and Cabaret at Seattle First Baptist Church on July 14
------------------------------
Lea DeLaria - star of 'Orange is the New Black' - kicks off Tacoma Pride Festival on July 13 with one-woman show 'A Man for All Seasons' - with special guest Kim Archer
------------------------------
Seattle Opera presents free community forum exploring intersection of race, opera
------------------------------
The 14/48 Projects presents 'When You Wish Upon A Pizza'
------------------------------
Seattle International Butoh Festival 2018: Awakenings to be held July 5-15
------------------------------
Seattle Humane - Pets of the Week
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Violently unsubtle Purge prequel a dystopian nightmare
------------------------------
Ferocious Sicario sequel a violently exploitive thriller
------------------------------
Quietly introspective Trace an emotionally inspirational character study
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml

Seattle Gay News - SGN
1707 23rd Ave
Seattle, WA 98122

Phone 206-324-4297
Fax 206-322-7188

email: sgn2@sgn.org
website suggestions: web@sgn.org

copyright Seattle Gay News 2018 - DigitalTeamWorks 2018

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News