The Forever Purge (USA/Mexico, 2021)

Just when you thought it was all over, the annual night of all crime being legal is back and has gone nationwide in this latest installment of the franchise.

Charlene Roan’s time as President of the United States is over after two terms. Sadly, the New Founding Fathers of America are back in power and they have decided to once again bring back the Purge, the annual night where all crime is deemed legal. However, this comes at a time where illegal immigrants are heading to the United States. For Mexican couple Adela and Juan, they have left the country to avoid a drug cartel. They find work as ranch hands for the Tucker family and things are not going as planned due to Dylan’s resistance towards those who are non-Americans. Despite the sense of racism, Adela and Juan still feel at home thanks to patriarch Caleb Tucker.

On the night of the Purge, everyone is deemed safe despite the rampage that has happened. However, the next morning the Purge was to have come to an end. The Tuckers, Adela, and Juan soon learn that the Purge has not ended. Some of the Tuckers’ ranch hands are revealed to be part of a new movement called the Purge Purification Force. Their intention is to make America great again by targeting non-Americans and those who support the immigrants. Soon, the Tuckers, Adela, and Juan find themselves banding together against a threat that has gone nationwide. The question is does the NFFA sanction this or have they finally learned it is too much?

Fans were quite surprised with a fifth Purge movie of the franchise. After The Purge: Election Year, there came the prequel The First Purge and one would think that would be the end of it. However, we were treated to a television series version that only resulted to this latest film. What is interesting is that franchise creator James DeMonaco (who wrote all the films to date) tackles the current issue of illegal immigrants in the United States as the catalyst for the new Purge.

The film has the feel of a Western meshed with the controversial classic Birth of a Nation. As a matter of fact, an alternate title to this could be The Purge: Re-Birth of a Nation. The antagonists of the film, a band known as the Purge Purification Force, are worse than the Ku Klux Klan. While the factions have the same intentions, the PPF are more vicious in their actions as we are in a modern society where brutality is imminent. They resort to shooting, beating, and torture as if the level of their actions is amped up to a massive twenty. It is a major sense of irony as the KKK were considered the so-called “protagonists” of the D.W. Griffith film and in today’s society, they can be more seen as antagonists both in entertainment and in real-life.

The cast in this installment are really good. Ana de la Reguera and Tenoch Huerta have good chemistry as couple Adela and Juan, who escape from Mexico and find work in a restaurant and ranch respectively. However, as the film progresses and they are faced with danger, it’s clear these two are more than meets the eye. Josh Lucas’ Dylan at first glance comes off as a racist jerk who doesn’t totally agree with his father’s opening up to Juan, even after Juan breaks a wild horse that no one else could take care of. One would assume he would be the antagonist of the film on some level. However, we soon learn Dylan eventually finds himself as one of the good guys all to protect his pregnant wife and sister.

And if that’s not crazy enough. Despite the title, a sixth film is in development with DeMonaco writing the script again and the film will mark the return of Leo Barnes, the protagonist of The Purge: Anarchy and The Purge: Election Day once again to be played by Frank Grillo.

The Forever Purge is another manic ride, this time with immigrants the targets, an issue we face today with the amount of racism and attacks as a direct result of it. An excellent cast helps drive the film, making this an installment worth checking out.

WFG RATING: B

Universal Pictures presents a Blumhouse/Platinum Dunes production in association with Perfect World Pictures and Man in a Tree. Director: Everado Gout. Producers: Jason Blum, Michael Bay, Andrew Form, Brad Fuller, Sebastian K. Lemercier, and James DeMonaco. Writer: James DeMonaco. Cinematography: Luis Sansans. Editing: Vincent Tabaillon, Todd E. Miller, and Tim Alverson.

Cast: Ana de la Reguera, Tenoch Huerta, Josh Lucas, Leven Rambin, Cassidy Freeman, Alejandro Edda, Will Patton, Will Brittain, Sammi Rotibi, Zahn McClarnon, Gary Nohealli, Gregory Zaragoza, Brett Edwards.

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