James DeMonaco’s scripts for “The Purge” play out like drafts from the edgiest guy in your Intro to Creative Writing class. He asks us to imagine America at its hypothetical worst: The government has instituted an annual daylong crime spree called the Purge, and protagonists must fight their way through the waves of rabid murderers they once called neighbors. They’re the sort of plots that only hold up if you buy the misanthropic thesis of something like “Joker,” but DeMonaco likes to throw a few hot political topics into each script to keep things fresh. “The Forever Purge,” directed by Everardo Valerio Gout, tries to criticize American racism against Mexicans.
Adela (Ana de la Reguera) and Juan (Tenoch Huerta) are new immigrants to the United States settling in for their first ever Purge. Juan works on a ranch for the wealthy, white Tucker family, where he must weather harassment from his boss’s petty son, Dylan (Josh Lucas). But once droves of rogue Americans rise up to continue the Purge for all time, the Tuckers, Adela and Juan (who notably are not given last names) must learn to fight together.
“The Forever Purge” tries for political relevance by introducing immigrant protagonists, but it easily excuses racism from the other leads. (After all, Dylan doesn’t seem so bad compared with the bands of white supremacists stalking the film.) Words like “colonialism” and “the American dream” are thrown around, to little avail. This movie ultimately cares more about monotonous shootouts than making points about border relations.
The Forever Purge
Rated R for endless gun violence and a smattering of gore. Running time: 1 hour 43 minutes. In theaters.