The Forever Purge: By removing the ticking clock from Purge Night, the film loses its suspense.
It all started with Ethan Hawke’s opulent mansion being invaded by enraged, mask-wearing thugs in a near-future America in the B-movie The Purge.
However, excellent box office receipts revealed that this 2013 reimagining of the home invasion plot had struck a chord. Following that, there were two sequels, one prequel, and a spin-off TV series. Their fundamental concept of “Purge Night” – a government-sanctioned holiday during which Americans can kill with impunity – appeared to speak to a dangerously divided and increasingly violent America. These Purges dealt with social disparities, black lives, and political demagoguery after discarding tense terror for violent action.
The key to its survival, to misquote Darwin, was its willingness to adapt.
This fifth and ostensibly final chapter has a Mexican flavor, which is unsurprising. It shows right-wing nutcases don ludicrous costumes to purge America of its brown inhabitants, taking its lead from President Trump’s immigration policy (but filmed before his followers’ attack on the Capitol).
The violence continues after the klaxon signals the end of the murdering festival, as extremist factions declare a “Forever Purge” until white supremacy is established.
After forming an alliance with rich white ranchers Dylan (Josh Lucas), Harper (Leven Rambin), and Cassie (Ana de la Reguera), immigrants Juan (Tenoch Huerta), TT (Alejandro Edda), and Adela (Ana de la Reguera) flee for the border after Mexico grants them asylum (Cassidy Freeman).
An effort to break Trump’s wall from the north is a clever reversal, and there’s a thrilling action scene in which our heroes fight purgers in blasted streets crowded with panicked residents and the US Army.
However, it’s possible that this is one adaption too many. Purge Night loses its satirical drive and the suspense dissipates when the ticking clock is removed.