The Forever Purge
June 30, 2021 • Catholic News Service

NEW YORK (CNS) — Attempts to lend dignity to “The Forever Purge” (Universal), the latest addition to the bloody franchise that began in 2013, by presenting it as a parable about political divisions in the U.S. fail in any way to disguise the essential brutality it shares with the earlier films in the series.

Screenwriter James DeMonaco’s jabs in that direction, moreover, are delivered with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer.

Those who have been wise enough to avoid this movie’s predecessors may not know that the premise underlying them consists in the crackpot policy of a dystopian version of the federal government by which all laws are suspended for one night each year. As its title suggests, in this iteration, a host of extremists want to make the arrangement permanent.

This enables director Everardo Gout to put Mexican American couple Adela (Ana de la Reguera) and Juan (Tenoch Huerta) through an extended gauntlet of life-threatening jeopardy. Accompanying them on their travels, and through their travails, are various members of the family for whom Juan works as a ranch hand, including the clan’s patriarch, Caleb (Will Patton).

Our noble pals from south of the border are as bland and easily forgotten as the deplorables by whom they’re pursued. As a result, “The Forever Purge” accomplishes the remarkable feat of being simultaneously revolting and a bore.

The film contains excessive gory violence, about a half-dozen profanities, several milder oaths as well as pervasive rough and some crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is O — morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.

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CAPSULE REVIEW

“The Forever Purge” (Universal)

Attempts to lend dignity to this addition to the bloody franchise that began in 2013 by presenting it as a parable about political divisions in the U.S. fail in any way to disguise its essential brutality. Director Everardo Gout and screenwriter James DeMonaco put a Mexican American couple (Ana de la Reguera and Tenoch Huerta) and various members of the family for whom the husband works as a ranch hand (Will Patton plays its patriarch) through the usual gauntlet of life-threatening jeopardy unleashed when a dystopian version of the federal government allows a temporary suspension of all laws, an arrangement a host of extremists in this iteration want to make permanent. Excessive gory violence, about a half-dozen profanities, several milder oaths, pervasive rough and some crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is O — morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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CLASSIFICATION

“The Forever Purge” (Universal) — Catholic News Service classification, O — morally offensive. Motion Picture Association rating, R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.