Bantucinema Reviews: The First Purge (2018) *NO SPOILERS*
REVIEWED BY: BUCK RIVERS
Cinema Score: 7/10
Enjoyment Score: 9/10
Bantu Score: Black Rambo!!!!
The First Purge is one of the most topical films to come out this year and possibly in the last few years. Whether or not you’ll like it will depend on if you like kick-ass action films, if you don’t mind blood and violence, and if you’re not a white supremacist, abusive cop, or hardcore Trump-supporter.
To give a quick overview, the film was a great time. Its strong points are its action scenes and its kick-ass Black Rambo protagonist. This movie is refreshing as one that doesn’t set a moral judgement against its characters. Most films with black characters end up reminding everybody that the government is bad, but that we ALL need to clean up our acts; not-so-subtlety blaming the Black Community for everything. The First Purge gives us Black characters to cheer for minus the finger pointing.
The First Purge was black as fuck and it wasn’t ashamed of it at all. This was a movie that had me laughing with strangers in the theater in the way that Get Out and Black Panther did. It was definitely a great piece of Bantucinema.
From the standpoint of a piece of cinema, I feel that the film told its story better than any of the films in the series so far. It had a slow build in the start, but it was one that was interesting and world building. This may be a turn off if you’re going into this looking for action from the start, but trust me, the build is worth it.
The film is very dramatic most of the way through, especially in terms of dialogue. I found this to be comical at best, face-palm inducing at worst. This is a classic case of “Hood Dialogue” to set the tone. All of the characters are here. The kid who is trying to get out of the hood, but keeps falling back into it. The activist who wants more for the community and gives a handful of empowering speeches. The baller who defends himself to the activist, saying something like, “You know how it is out here! I gotta do what I gotta do!” They’re all here and it’s great! Yes this is cliche and dumb but if you like that sort of thing, you’ll have a good time.
In terms of having a good time, the film picks up and stays up. The action gets more and more exciting all the time. By the end, I was jumping around in my seat! I had a great time! I can’t say I was extremely connected to the plight of the characters, but I was definitely on their side. Unlike the first film in the series, I wasn’t rooting for any of them to die.
The action scenes were well choreographed even if they were a bit unbelievable at times. This unbelievably only really came from the level of skill that some of these average people possessed. Gang members aren’t usually so precise. I’m not talking John Wick, but there were few moments where I felt like they were as insanely terrified as anybody else would be.
In general, the film was funny, entertaining, and awesome.
In terms of Blackness, the movie is all about us. All of the leads are black, and there wasn’t that one white character who is meant to make us all go “They aren’t all so bad”. I didn’t expect this film to go in with such aggressive reality. It was very topical in that it reflects perfectly where this nation is going. You’ve got the cops and white supremacists coming out to play here. All of the Purge movies have been political, but this is the first one that really makes it about us and not just about “the poor”. There is definite retribution in this film for the bullshit that our people go through and all of that is doled out by a perfect Black action hero that nobody knew we were asking for.
Go see The First Purge. These movies have no reason to be this good!