Another film that was postponed thanks to the pandemic was The Forever Purge. Written by series creator James DeMonaco and directed by Everado Gout, The Forever Purge has been released as the latest in The Purge series. The film follows the events of the third film, The Purge: Election Year and sees the NFFA back in power and the purge reinstated. However, things don’t go to plan and a large uprising across the US decide to implement the “forever purge” and do not stop purging after the sirens have sounded. The Purge franchise is one with a large fan base and has done well financially because of how entertaining and imaginative they are while still bringing in real issues. The Forever Purge in particular feels especially appropriate for the times we live in. If you haven’t caught up on the franchise, I have done a review and ranking of the previous films which you can read here.
What The Purge series does so well is how it incorporates real social issues into the context of the films and The Forever Purge is no exception. Showing the purge from the point of view of Mexican illegal immigrants, we see the casual racism and cruel treatment that they are subjected to as people of colour and immigrants are tracked down and killed for their background. Gout’s direction is unflinching and fantastic by clearly highlighting the differences between the affluent Tucker residence owned by a rich white family and the livelihood of their employees which includes Juan and T.T, immigrants who had to escape Mexico due to rising Cartel violence and how their security differs when the purge commences. DeMonaco’s script helps to accommodate this as he asks questions on whether the American Dream really exists. Where we see Juan and Adela flee their native Mexico and illegally enter the US as they believe they can achieve their American Dream, they are forced to try and reenter Mexico with the Tuckers when Mexico’s borders are opened for a limited time for those seeking to escape the violence. These topics of identity, social and class status are often major issues explored in The Purge films but the geographical shift sees how the event has started to grow beyond its native country.
Mexican actor Tenoch Huerta is great in the leading role as Juan. Having to deal with racism on a smaller scale in his job, he soon learns that there is a larger problem as there is systemic killings across the US with people of colour and immigrants targeted specifically. Like other main characters in The Purge films, we don’t delve deeply into Juan’s background beyond the fact that he escaped from Mexico and is trying to make an honest living in Texas but it doesn’t really matter in a film like this and it allows for a lot of surprises and freedom in the script. There are some scenes where Huerta really shines including the sudden death of a friend in which we see that dramatic range come into play. Ana de la Reguera is also great as Juan’s wife, Adela, who isn’t afraid to confront and battle alongside Juan to protect the group. The performances from both Huerta and Reguera are among the best that the whole franchise have to offer and contribute to this being one of the strongest instalments that The Purge has to offer.
In support, Josh Lucas plays the affluent Dylan Tucker who runs the family ranch and his character is given a bit more background than we’re used to from supporting characters. It’s clear from his first few scenes that Dylan has racist opinions and treats his Mexican workers differently from others as well as dismissing the idea that his daughter should learn Spanish. However, The Forever Purge shows the progression in Dylan’s character as he begins to rely on the whole group and his judgements begin to fade. What the script does well is ensure that it is done naturally and not clumsily exposed in a way that feels inauthentic.
The Forever Purge was supposed to be the last in the franchise but producer Jason Blum plans to explore the stories of other characters we’ve come across in previous films. We have seen The Purge look into issues of race and class before but this film brings it to a post-Trump era. In a world where the gap between poor and rich grows more and extremism becomes more integrated into the media and mainstream society, films like The Forever Purge are important as they hold that mirror to society and present the consequences of a fractured society and aren’t afraid to ask questions.
What did you think of The Forever Purge? Let me know in the comments below!
The Forever Purge is available to see in cinemas now!