Monday, 3 August 2015

The Purge (4 Stars)


The plot of this film is irrelevant. All that matters is the premise. In the near future (2022) a yearly event has been instituted in America called the Purge. Once a year, from March 21st at 7pm until 7am the following morning, all crimes are permissible. For these 12 hours all emergency services, police, ambulance and fire brigade, are suspended. While minor crimes such as theft and looting are permissible, the main crime committed during this time is murder. Some people go out to kill their bosses or other people they don't like. Others, and this is the main focus of the film, see it as their patriotic duty to kill the ones who don't deserve to live, such as the poor and the homeless.

In theory, anyone can die during the Purge, but the main victims are the poor who are unable to defend themselves. The rich kill the poor, while the poor kill each other. Many of the rich celebrate the event at home, eating a luxurious meal and sitting at home watching television reports of the mayhem on the streets. God bless America!

The film is intended as a social commentary. It exaggerates the situation we already have in the USA. Why are people allowed to own guns in America? Why is it considered unpatriotic to forbid the right to a gun? It isn't about home defence, whatever people say. It's about the survival of the fittest. In America the government wants every criminal and gang member to be able to own a gun. This means that they will shoot one another and eliminate the unwanted elements in society. Of course, they can also shoot respectable people, but these people can also own guns, theoretically better guns, with which they are able to kill the poorer people in self defence. If they don't adequately defend themselves it's their own fault, they deserved to die. But there is one last legal resort. The government can arrest the poor killers and sentence them to death, so the killing system has succeeded twice over, ridding America of both the unworthy rich person and the poor killer.

America is struggling to redeem itself. There are political battles between those who want gun control and those who oppose it. The upright religious middle class of America insist that it's their right to defend themselves, but what they really mean behind their hypocrisy is that they're insisting on the right to kill. People in the civilised countries of Europe, where very few are allowed to own guns, are confused by this state of affairs in America. Only the future will tell us what will happen. Will America stem the rising tide of anarchy by forbidding private ownership of guns? Or will American society descend to the level of "The Purge"? Or worse?

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