The first reviews for The First Purge are finally online, and it is apparently just about as poor critically as the other installments in the franchise. The Purge prequel currently has a 55% on Rotten Tomatoes, which, according to the site, declares it as a "rotten" movie.
The three previous installments in the Purge franchise all have low scores on Rotten Tomatoes as well, with the original Purge movie from 2013 receiving the lowest score at a 38%. While its two sequels, The Purge: Anarchy and The Purge: Election Year, were better, they still weren't necessarily good, disappointing fans and critics alike according to Rotten Tomatoes.
Some people hoped that The First Purge would shed a new leaf for The Purge franchise by bringing more social justice themes into the mix. These thematic elements seemed to hint that The First Purge would be quite different from its predecessors. Here is the official synopsis of the movie.
"To push the crime rate below one percent for the rest of the year, the New Founding Fathers of America test a sociological theory that vents aggression for one night in one isolated community. But when the violence of oppressors meets the rage of the others, the contagion will explode from the trial-city borders and spread across the nation."
Though the political viewpoints brought up in The First Purge did help the overall movie, according to a number of reviews, the negative reviews pointed out that the political tones felt forced and flat without any depth to the message, which made The First Purge an unenjoyable experience. Rather than making important stances on the political messages the movie preaches, the critics claim that the movie feels like it was made simply by a person who looked at the headlines of political turmoil, rather than looking in depth on the issues of society. Because of this, The First Purge feels like a bland thriller movie without any real purpose to it.
However, the fact that The First Purge is on the same level as the previous Purge movies may actually be good news to the fans of the franchise. The success of the Purge series has been almost completely based on people wanting to watch a fun thriller movie with raising stakes and exciting danger with no limits, and all things considered, it looks as though The First Purge fulfills this promise. Here is the Critics Consensus of The First Purge from Rotten Tomatoes.
"The First Purge should satisfy fans of the franchise and filmgoers in the mood for violent vicarious thrills, even if its subtextual reach exceeds its grasp."
Based on the early reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, The First Purge won't be for everyone. If you go in expecting a political thriller with a detailed viewpoint on the turmoils of society as the movie was marketed, you may be rather disappointed. However, if you go into the movie expecting an exciting thriller like the previous Purge movies, you may be in for quite a treat. Like many other horror movies over the past decade, the Purge franchise doesn't have much depth, but still stands strong as an entertaining popcorn flick. The First Purge is apparently no exception. You can check out The First Purge and decide for yourself if it's a worthwhile movie to see when it releases in theaters this week.