Saturday, May 4, 2013
The first time I saw this trailer for The Purge--coming soon to a multiplex near you as long as you don't live in Salt Lake City, probably--I thought, "This kind of looks like The Strangers (a movie I really like) amped up and sci-fi-icized. I might give Universal some of my hard-earned money this summer. I'll might also get popcorn. Go light on the butter-flavored syrup-goo, please!"
But then I thought about what I'd seen, and, mind you I didn't have to think too terribly long, I came to the realization that The Purge might be the stupidest, most nonsensical movie of not only Summer 2013, but ever in the history of filmed entertainment. Granted, this is only a trailer, but, in the immortal words of that Cuban guy from I Love Lucy, a show I've never seen more than a minute of and probably never will, "The Purge, you've got some 'splaining to do."
Apparently, in the America of The Purge, unemployment is at 1% and crime is at an all-time low. And how did we achieve this? Well, the trailer makes it very clear that the reason things are so super duper in the ol' USA is because of the 12-hour period, one night each year, when all crime is legal. Yep, because every citizen has been given one night to murder, rape, drunk drive, lie under oath, covet thy neighbors wife, and fornicate with a barnful of livestock, unemployment and crime are nearly non-existent. What the WTF?!?
Look, I'm not one of the minds behind the popular Freakonomics series of books (SPOILER ALERT!), so maybe there is some complicated (or uncomplicated) correlation between these things just waiting to be freakonomicked. I'm a simple man with simple tastes (except when it comes to cheese--I have a very extravagant taste in cheese), so I don't see the connection here. However, none of that matters when you considered the very next part of the trailer.
In it, Ethan Hawke explains to his family that The Purge, the titular crime-a-palooza, is a way for American citizens to release all of the hatred and violence they keep locked up inside themselves on all of the calendar days that don't end in a moonlit killing spree. Again, I comically ask, what in the WTF?!? Nearly everyone in the country is employed and safe from random muggings, sexual assaults and common con-mannery. What's everybody so angry about?
Lena Headey's character shares a doozy with her family as well, when she implores them to remember all of the good The Purge does for America. What is she talking about? There's got to be more going on here, right?
Another issue I have is why when Hawke's son allows a stranger who is being followed by a group of masked homicidal maniacs, does the lead maniac give the family one hour to hand the stranger over before they break in and kill everybody? It's purge night, guys. Why spend an hour twiddling your thumbs when you could be in there hacking people up? The Purge only lasts 12 hours, and you know Hawke and his family aren't going down without a fight. Just bust up in the place and crack some heads immediately. You knows, you might get done in time to rob a 24-hour pawn shop or something.
I can appreciate that the The Purge trailer doesn't give everything in the movie away. That's uncommon these days. But, c'mon, The Purge trailer, give us something intelligent to latch onto. I'm, sadly, left more indifferent than intrigued (I am a little intrigued) by the trailer, so I'll probably just read the plot synopsis, spoilers and all, when some kind soul shares them on Wikipedia. I will probably eat popcorn while I do so.