Slightly above average horror/thriller/action can’t decide on it’s genre or message.

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Set in 2022, The Purge is a morality tale (although it can’t decide what its moral is) where America has become a place of wealth and prosperity due to the annual ‘purge’ – One night every year all crime (including murder) becomes legal to enable the public to have a ‘release’. The Purge focuses on one family The Sandins.
The performances are average at best. Lena ‘Cersei Lannister’ Headey tries her hardest to shed the image of her more famous role but all the black hair dye in the world can’t hide the familiar Lannister smirk. Ethan Hawke plays the patriarch of the family and as always he is painfully dull, spending the entire movie looking somewhat bewildered and surprised. His face is in a constant battle with itself as to whether it will morph in to Matt Dillon or Kevin Bacon and while Hawke can’t change his daft face, it is distracting.
The film itself, whilst harbouring a truly original idea, is not executed that well. Some of the more tiresome horror clichés rear their grotesque head (woman opens fridge door, closes it, person is standing there – characters ridiculously and needlessly splitting up). There were also a couple of unintentionally hilarious moments, namely Ethan Hawke choosing the most outrageously unfit for purpose gun of all time to protect his family seemingly just because it looks cool.

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The Purge is pretty entertaining, and on a plus point Rhys Wakefield does a good job as the psychopathic stranger. He aims for something in between Jack Nicholson’s Joker and Christian Bale’s Patrick Bateman and for a while he pulls it off, before fading in the last half an hour. I was never bored, but never captivated either.