The First Purge – 2018
Director Gerard McMurray
Screenplay James DeMonaco
Starring Y’Lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, Joivan Wade, Luna Lauren Velez, Marisa Tomei, Rotimi Paul
It is not everyday you find a movie so cynically pessimistic as to deliberately push buttons it knows to be false in the effort to show a few more victims being victimized. The First Purge is this cynical and then some. So many dog whistles go off in the making of this awful film, it’s a wonder that hounds from miles around didn’t flee the area, ears bleeding.
The premise is like the others, only this time it panders more to the mentality of people of color valiantly fighting off the desire of a (no kidding) NRA driven third political party that wins the white house and then decides to finally do something about those annoying poor people. Somehow, they pick Staten Island, New York, to begin the process. They put it up to a vote (with the locals, we’re told) and those poor folks say, yeah, let’s put all of our lives at risk for a few dollars more.
There are some valiant protesters. The main one (Davis) broke up with the kindly drug kingpin (Noel) years ago. Sparks are still there, but it will take nearly dying for them to start flying. Don’t worry.
There are interviews at the start, and folks are given the option to wear camera contact lenses for $5000. They will get more if…you know, they knock off a few lowlifes. These lenses give us more access to locations, so we can see if the purge is working, or if the Trump supporters need to send in the Russians, the KKK and assorted Nazi’s to finish the job. Even the murderous drones are white.
Yes, it’s that obvious. There is every indication in this film that white people want poor urban folks as victims. Because, you know, they’re expensive and overpopulation and stuff. Isn’t this the same thing all white people want to do?
If that isn’t enough, our main heroine gets to fight off a man in a submarine who makes a grab for her crotch. Then, after she pepper sprays him, she calls him, yep, “Pussy Grabber.”
James DeMarco has hinted to the rich oppressing common folks for three films now. He’s never thrown so much low hanging fruit into the mix before. Before I blame this on McMurray, who is black, being the first person not named James DeMarco to direct one of these turds, I have to express something pointed out to me by my friend Binage.
“I see a lot of names of white people in those (producing) credits, but I didn’t see a lot of white victims.”
Lets take a look at this murderers row:
I don’t want to speculate on the politics of this gang, other than to say Bay has made the film 13 Hours. This has been noted to be at least a fair film dictating a disaster that happened during the Obama Administration. For this reason, many liberals decried it as biased and unfair. It is not.
The First Purge shows oppressed black people at peaceful rallies, innocent black folks in a housing project being killed room to room and a black drug dealer as its hero. There’s even a neighbor Lady who’s essentially Oprah. This is intended to put the butts in the seats, not to be intellectually honest.
No matter what political affiliation, the producers guessed in this era of outrage against all things MAGA, they should hedge their bets and just go with that. It’s supposed to come across as sympathetic to the poor, oppressed people of the world.
Unfortunately, the cynicism may be lost on the intended audience as Trump’s popularity explodes within the world of Intersectional Politics. The same people would have seen this film even if they didn’t have the cheap shots inserted. Most of them will go away, thinking it is strange to implicate someone they likely don’t blame for any of the things depicted in the movie. It’s really just missed opportunism.
To them it’s the same as the other films, with a few more talky bits. There is also one of the most intriguing bad guys Paul’s Skelator ever put to a Purge film. They relegate Skelator to the sideline early and get on with the NRA sponsored kills.
For me, the talking just gets in the way of what could have been a decent film. DeMarco may or may not be any sort of liberal, but I can tell by now he’s a lazy developer of sequels.
I finish with the following quote, from Malcom X:
“The white liberal differs from the white conservative only in one way: the liberal is more deceitful than the conservative. The liberal is more hypocritical than the conservative. Both want power, but the white liberal is the one who has perfected the art of posing as the Negro’s friend and benefactor; and by winning the friendship, allegiance, and support of the Negro, the white liberal is able to use the Negro as a pawn or tool in this political “football game” that is constantly raging between the white liberals and white conservatives.
Politically the American Negro is nothing but a football and the white liberals control this mentally dead ball through tricks of tokenism: false promises of integration and civil rights. In this profitable game of deceiving and exploiting the political politician of the American Negro, those white liberals have the willing cooperation of the Negro civil rights leaders. These “leaders” sell out our people for just a few crumbs of token recognition and token gains. These “leaders” are satisfied with token victories and token progress because they themselves are nothing but token leaders.”
If one replaces the word “liberal” with, say, producer, then you have everything wrong with this film.