If The Purge lacks anything, it’s not a fantastic idea for a low budget thriller drama. But it stretches thin with an unnecessary exposition while it should have focused on creating an intense night, which it gets very close to right before Ethan Hawke is killed. 21 Cloverfield Street used in medias res (skipped act one) brilliantly to immerse the viewers into the movie’s world and let them have hints at what’s going on while guessing if the clues and facts are truths or lies, I was thoroughly engaged watching it. While The Purge doesn’t have the mystery element, it could have worked on creating a gripping one hour of skirmishes in the neighbourhood where we see how people act on a night like this with everything on the line. Still, it makes you think, is there hope for peace through the intrinsic benevolence of humans?
Benevolence and altruism can usually be found in people who feel dependent on society, people who need society or any other group to live and thrive, and every group has its own definition of benevolence. Out of this benevolence required between members of one group to sustain its wellbeing comes malevolence between groups fighting to enforce their own version of benevolence, like how Ethan Hawke and his wife were willing to torture an innocent man to save their children. That’s why terrorism is extremely hard to overcome, they are benevolent, you’re evil, and your existence opposes what they think is benevolent. The word malevolence here is used by a third person overlooking the two groups killing each other over an ideology or any other reason, combatants may not describe using violence to completely vanquish their enemies as malevolence, but rather a necessary course to end the malevolence of the other side. The victor decides what benevolence is, but not to the outside observer who may disagree with both parties.
If benevolence is inherent in us, then so is malevolence.