The First Purge is a 2018 American action horror film directed by Gerard McMurray and starring Y’lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, Joivan Wade, Mugga, Luna Lauren Velez, Kristen Solis, and Marisa Tomei. The fourth installment in the Purge franchise, the film is a prequel depicting the origins of the first annual “Purge”, a 12-hour span once a year in which all crime in America is legal. Written and produced by James DeMonaco, it marks the first film of the series not to be directed by him.
This movie offers nothing new to the now 4 movie franchise. It shows us that after a period of turmoil, violence and poverty mixed with lack of opportunities has led to a 3rd party named the New Founding Fathers of America, who have grown into power and form the new government. NFFA members Arlo Sabian and Dr. May Updale announce an experiment to take place on Staten Island where for 12 hours, citizens will be allowed to purge and release their inhibitions in any way they choose. The NFFA offers residents of the Island $5000 to stay in their homes during the experiment and a compensation for those participating as well. They also outfit the participants with tracking devices and contact lenses with cameras in them so that they can monitor all activity.
The movie focuses on anti-Purge activist Nya and her younger brother Isaiah, who is working for drug lord and Nya’s ex, Dmitri. There’s also Nya’s friends Dolores, Luisa, and Selina, Dmitri’s gang and Skeletor, a crazy drug addict who just wants to kill people and use the Purge as his outlet. Other than Skeletor, most purgers on the Island want to loot and steal from stores and otherwise have parties. So the NFFA sends a mercenary team in masks and outfits on to kill a bunch of people. At the NFFA headquarters, Updale starts becoming suspicious due to the Purge’s sudden change in the crimes committed, as well as the presence of masked participants. Sabian explains that he sent the mercenaries to make the experiment look successful, and eventually to help “balance” the rich and the poor.
Updale protests this tampering of the experiment and informs Sabian her realization that NFFA only wants to eradicate the poor because they don’t want to take care of them. With Sabian’s corruption revealed, he has Updale taken away and killed, before erasing all footage of the event. Dmitri ends up becoming a mix off Die Hard era Bruce Willis and any Arnie shootout movie to kill a bunch of the mercenaries and save Nya, Isaiah and their friends who had escaped to their apartment. He is hailed a hero at the end of the 12 hour cycle and another of those stupid rap songs starts to play.
Not really sure why this prequel was needed. It’s a mix of rap music, lots of struting and posing, Black American culture and the “hood” and people dying. Skeletor was an overacting nightmare. 6 outta 10!