The Forever Purge parents guide

The Forever Purge Parent Guide

You know an action flick is bad when the politics are the most interesting part.

Overall D

In Theaters: Although the annual Purge creates one night of complete lawlessness each year, one subset of maniacs has decided that that isn't enough. In fact, they've decided that the Purge should be a never-ending holiday, with serious consequences for everyone else.

Release date July 2, 2021

Violence D
Sexual Content B
Profanity D
Substance Use A

Why is The Forever Purge rated R? The MPAA rated The Forever Purge R for strong/bloody violence, and language throughout.

Run Time: 103 minutes

Parent Movie Review

The ultranationalist New Founding Fathers are still governing America, and the yearly Purge continues to happen as scheduled. For just one night, from sunset to sunrise, nearly all crime is legal. For recent immigrants Adela (Ana de la Reguera) and her husband Juan (Tenoch Huerta), this will be their first experience with legal mayhem and as dawn breaks on the morning after, they’re still standing.

The good fortune doesn’t last for long. Juan shows up to his job at a local ranch to find his employer, Dylan Tucker (Josh Lucas) and his family being held at gunpoint by masked Purgers, all of whom seem determined to keep their indiscriminate violence going for the foreseeable future. Across town, Adela also finds herself in trouble…and similar scenes are playing out across America. The government imposes martial law, but it isn’t enough to restore order. Luckily the Mexican government has agreed to open the border to accept refugees for the next six hours. If Adela and Juan can make it to the line, Mexico might be their only chance at safety.

I’ve never exactly been a fan of this franchise. I’ve sat through most of the movies, but they always strike me as violence for the sake of violence masquerading as paranoid, overblown, quasi-satirical fearmongering. The Forever Purge keeps those elements, but it also engages more deeply with the political aspect of its premise. Instead of civilians versus criminals on Purge night, this shows a more plausible effect of Purges - armed far-right militias using one night of legal immunity to perform mass ethnic cleansing and hate crimes. And much like giving a mouse a cookie, giving delusional proto-fascists one night of fun is unlikely to pan out the way you hoped.

I don’t want to get sucked into the myriad bizarre political ramifications of this franchise. There’s just too much to unpack and most of it isn’t worth the bother. This is an action horror flick, and it’s only fair that I judge it at least partially on those terms. Unfortunately, it’s not a great one. The action aspects are patently insane, which they have to be to keep up with the masked madness that typifies the series. The horror aspects are…bad. Nothing is actually truly scary, so director Everardo Gout resorts to jump scares to trick your brain into pumping out some undeserved adrenaline. The problem with this approach is that the movie doesn’t even do jump scares well. I could reliably count down to the jump because the film would always completely drop the volume about 4 seconds before a scare – and the rest of the time, this is a loud movie. Near constant yelling, gunfire, explosions, and motorcycle engines may be “exciting”, but when that incessant racket fades, you know what’s going to happen next. Some masked neo-confederate with an axe to grind (sometimes literally) pops out from behind the dumpster/parked car/stable and tries to mutilate a protagonist. Pardon my theatrical yawn.

As you may imagine this production is not what I would describe as grade-A family entertainment - unless you’re the Manson family. And frankly, it’s not even great adult entertainment either. The Forever Purge is an underwhelming by-the-numbers action flick with political aspirations. You know it’s bad when the politics are the most interesting part of an action film. But maybe seeing hordes of similarly costumed fanatics storming the Capitol building made political violence feel a lot less remote…

Directed by Everardo Gout. Starring Ana de la Reguera, Tenoch Huerta, and Josh Lucas. Running time: 103 minutes. Theatrical release July 2, 2021. Updated

The Forever Purge
Rating & Content Info

Why is The Forever Purge rated R? The Forever Purge is rated R by the MPAA for strong/bloody violence, and language throughout.

Violence: Many people are shot, stabbed, beaten, bludgeoned, blown up, burned, and otherwise murdered. Corpses are shown burning and being eaten by dogs. 
Sexual Content: One character is threatened with sexual assault.
Profanity: There are over 100 uses of profanity, including 44 sexual expletives, 15 scatological terms, and frequent use of mild profanities and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: There is infrequent minor drinking.

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The Forever Purge Parents' Guide

How would you react in a Purge? What do you think most Americans would be doing? How do you think that kind of legislation could even pass in the first place? What are some of the political messages in this film?