‘The First Purge’ Review: Hope This Isn’t The Last We’ll See Of Y’lan Noel

Sooooo I think I’m done swooning over Y’lan Noel, the star of The First Purge, which hit theaters July 4th.
Noel, a Brooklyn native and known as Daniel from HBO’s Insecure, gave the viewers hope for the bad guy who turns good for the future of humanity. Noel’s character, Dmitri, is introduced as most of the problems within inner city communities, a drug lord. But, as the 90 or so minutes of the film winds down Dmitri becomes the sexy hero, the black version of Rambo.

The First Purge takes place on Staten Island, N.Y. as the government’s experimental test site. The idea behind the, now, annual purge are for citizens to let out their aggressions through murder and mayhem. The government swayed the residence of Staten Island to participate by guaranteeing $5,000 if they survived the night and did nothing. Others signed up with the New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA) for tracking devices implanted in color eye contacts to receive more than $5000 with each kill.

The purge’s creator, The Architect, played by Oscar-winner Marissa Tomei, pitched this idea as a socioeconomic test.

The government took advantage of the low-income community to murder each other for their gain. Scary because each time a Purge movie comes out I can see this suspense thriller happening in real life.

In the prequel, we learn that the purge was actually meant to depopulate the lower income residents, especially in public housing. Like in the other purge movies we see that the government sends in secret militia to professionally murder as many impoverished.

As the film flies by, the viewers see that although Dmitri’s illegal profession is destroying the neighbor, he has a soft spot for Nya, played by Lex Scott Davis.

Dmitri and Nya obviously have a history as she repeatedly turns to him for help with or to argue about her little brother Isiah, played by Jovian Wade.

At times Nya’s poor speech choices of where she took pauses in between sentences become awkward to listen to and lessens your care if she survives the purge. Nya’s inappropriate timing to discuss her concerns with the men in her life were also annoying.

It’s almost as if the writers wanted this to be an all-male cast and threw female characters in at the last minute with stereotypical or unexplained roles. Like Lauren Velez, whose known for playing law enforcement since the 90s (New York Undercover and Dexter). Velez, played Luisa, a mom with an unexplained concern over her daughter and fear of spots of blood on the floor, but not the blood on her face.

The creativity of how the random murders occurred in the forgotten borough were rightfully uncreative since this was the first purge. Nonetheless, there’s no reason that the graphics for the blood splatter scenes were equal to those from a 1970s slasher film.

The film also has cameos from journalist Van Jones and Brooklyn-born rappers Siya and Desiigner.

In the end ladies, Dmitri’s performance was all for us. And stick around after the credits for an announcement.

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