'The Purge' Is The Patriotic July 4th Franchise America Deserves – Forbes


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‘The First Purge’

Universal/Comcast Corp. just announced that their fourth Purge movie, a prequel set during the very first Purge Night, will be newly titled… The First Purge. The Blumhouse and Platinum Dunes-produced prequel is being directed by Gerard McMurray and penned by original series writer-director James DeMonaco. And like The Purge: Election Year&nbsp;(which earned a franchise-high&nbsp;$79.2 million domestic/$118.6m worldwide on a $10m budget), this one is going to open over the July 4th&nbsp;weekend.

Considering the times, I can think of no more appropriate tradition than having a new Purge movie opening every two to three years (or every other year if they are so inclined) over the Independence Day weekend. I have discussed before the irony of getting through an entire Captain America trilogy without any of them opening over the July 4th weekend (the first two had conflicts with Transformers sequels while the third got the summer kick-off slot), but in today’s America, but maybe Paramount/Viacom Inc. and Walt Disney were on to something.&nbsp;On this most “patriotic” of holidays, the most appropriate cinematic offering is not the idealistic&nbsp;Captain America&nbsp;movies&nbsp;(or even an apolitical&nbsp;Will Smith action-fantasy) but The Purge.

Like Zootopia, I would argue that The Purge, especially the second and third installments, was intended to be a warning but instead became a prophecy. I’d argue the same thing for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, where “Bernie” spends the entire movie determined to destroy the “evil” Hillary while “Trump” uses the manufactured distraction to pull off a victory, but I digress. While The Purge: Election Year presented itself as a 2016 election year metaphor (albeit with the assumption that Hillary Clinton would face off against a Rick Santorum/Ted Cruz-like GOP opponent), real life was so awful that the happy ending of Election Year turned out to be too good for real life.

Yes, we’re now in a situation where The Purge has become something of an idealistic fantasy because the last movie actually had a happier ending than real life. The same goes for Idiocracy (the folks may be dumb, but they aren’t knowingly cruel and seem to want to solve the world’s problems), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (where the government organization is destroyed by revelations that it has been infiltrated by would-be Nazis) and essentially any movie or TV show where bad guys actually give a damn about whether their evil secrets are released to the public.

The least realistic thing today about movies like Batman Returns, Enemy of the State, The Bourne Supremacy or Serenity is that the villains would be punished when their evildoing was exposed because civilians and law enforcement would actually care. So as we wait to see what becomes of America, we can enjoy the high fantasy presented by the Purge movies, where yes Americans kill each other for sport but, hey, we know from the end of the third film that they eventually come to their senses. As we wait to see if the government, or at least active voters, will come to their senses, we can enjoy a most appropriate Independence Day holiday in the form of another Purge movie.

It may not be the patriotic (but not nationalistic) franchise we need, but it’s darn sure the one we deserve.

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‘The First Purge’

Universal/Comcast Corp. just announced that their fourth Purge movie, a prequel set during the very first Purge Night, will be newly titled… The First Purge. The Blumhouse and Platinum Dunes-produced prequel is being directed by Gerard McMurray and penned by original series writer-director James DeMonaco. And like The Purge: Election Year (which earned a franchise-high $79.2 million domestic/$118.6m worldwide on a $10m budget), this one is going to open over the July 4th weekend.

Considering the times, I can think of no more appropriate tradition than having a new Purge movie opening every two to three years (or every other year if they are so inclined) over the Independence Day weekend. I have discussed before the irony of getting through an entire Captain America trilogy without any of them opening over the July 4th weekend (the first two had conflicts with Transformers sequels while the third got the summer kick-off slot), but in today’s America, but maybe Paramount/Viacom Inc. and Walt Disney were on to something. On this most “patriotic” of holidays, the most appropriate cinematic offering is not the idealistic Captain America movies (or even an apolitical Will Smith action-fantasy) but The Purge.

Like Zootopia, I would argue that The Purge, especially the second and third installments, was intended to be a warning but instead became a prophecy. I’d argue the same thing for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, where “Bernie” spends the entire movie determined to destroy the “evil” Hillary while “Trump” uses the manufactured distraction to pull off a victory, but I digress. While The Purge: Election Year presented itself as a 2016 election year metaphor (albeit with the assumption that Hillary Clinton would face off against a Rick Santorum/Ted Cruz-like GOP opponent), real life was so awful that the happy ending of Election Year turned out to be too good for real life.

Yes, we’re now in a situation where The Purge has become something of an idealistic fantasy because the last movie actually had a happier ending than real life. The same goes for Idiocracy (the folks may be dumb, but they aren’t knowingly cruel and seem to want to solve the world’s problems), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (where the government organization is destroyed by revelations that it has been infiltrated by would-be Nazis) and essentially any movie or TV show where bad guys actually give a damn about whether their evil secrets are released to the public.

The least realistic thing today about movies like Batman Returns, Enemy of the State, The Bourne Supremacy or Serenity is that the villains would be punished when their evildoing was exposed because civilians and law enforcement would actually care. So as we wait to see what becomes of America, we can enjoy the high fantasy presented by the Purge movies, where yes Americans kill each other for sport but, hey, we know from the end of the third film that they eventually come to their senses. As we wait to see if the government, or at least active voters, will come to their senses, we can enjoy a most appropriate Independence Day holiday in the form of another Purge movie.

It may not be the patriotic (but not nationalistic) franchise we need, but it’s darn sure the one we deserve.

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