The Purge ★★

As a premise, The Purge presents a pretty compelling idea. What would society look like if it was allowed complete criminal carte blanche for 12 hours, once a year? Would it sort itself out as a sort of cultural 'reset'? What would the implications be for class systems, where some can afford to protect themselves and others can not?

Beyond a rock-solid opening sequence that effortlessly connects us as an audience to this chaotic new world through a sequence of security cam footage of criminal brutality, the film fails to do what it hopes to. It rambles along like a pickup truck with square wheels - it's technically going in the right direction, but the ride isn't smooth and it shakes itself apart by the time it reaches any destination.