PG Score: 6.75/10
Despite its uneven pacing, The Forever Purge is one of the more engaging entries in the franchise. Director Everardo Gout and Writer/Creator James DeMonaco infuse the satisfying action-horror with relevant political commentary to give unexpected weight to the violence.
The fifth and final film follows two families who must work together to survive after a group of extremists decide that the Purge should never end. As the United States descends further into anarchy, the unlikely alliance is put to the ultimate test.
The action is intense and frequently accompanied by brutal finishing moves that are bound to make an impact on the audience. These emphatic final blows, while indeed vicious, never feel gratuitous, and the violence itself is not portrayed in a glorified manner. Instead, Gout manages to maintain a grounded approach to the bloodshed without sacrificing its forceful nature. The movie is not particularly scary as the horror elements are baked into the premise and the gunplay/melee combat. When it comes to the action-horror subgenre, the series has always leaned heavier on the former, and the newest installment is no exception.
The political messaging is apparent from the start and could have easily derailed The Forever Purge at the hands of lesser filmmakers. Aided by DeMonaco’s screenplay, Gout uses the movie’s commentary to strengthen the set pieces. The fact that it may hit too close to home for some viewers is an indication that the message is achieving its intended result.
As crowd-pleasing as the action is, it is stifled by a drawn-out first act and one other instance of significant dragging. The buildup continues for far too long and waiting for the first strike grows tedious. When the hammer finally drops, the subsequent fight scenes (as enjoyable as they are) do not fully alleviate the unwarranted delay that precedes them. Moreover, it is not long before viewers are subjected to another needless slowdown. While these stoppages do not prove fatal to the latest Purge sequel, they certainly wound it.
Ana de la Reguera leads an expertly selected cast and excels as the formidable, yet passionate Adela. She is joined by a host of stars including Josh Lucas, Cassidy Freeman, Will Patton, Leven Rambin, and Veronica Falcón. The interesting blend of talent serves as a major highlight of the film.
A Strong Finish for the Franchise
Featuring effective messaging, hard-hitting action, and a strong cast, The Forever Purge mitigates its pacing problems to ensure the franchise goes out on a high note.
PG Score: 6.75/10