If you are going to see a movie called "The Forever Purge" - the fifth film in the franchise - you pretty much know what you are getting.
That is why this film - and franchise - continues to find ways to surprise. Director Everardo Gout and writer James DeMonaco (who has penned all the movies in the franchise) embracing the film's schlocky B-movie persona, using current hot button political topics to drive the narrative of a pretty standard thriller.
"The Forever Purge" picks up shortly after the 2016 film "The Purge: Election Year," which ended with purges - a 12 hour period in which all crime is legal - were finally deemed illegal.
Well about that no purge thing, they are back on with the film telling us that the "New Founding Fathers" have re-instated the annual event.
On the eve of the latest purge an immigrant couple named Adela (Ana de la Reguera), Juan (Tenoch Huerta) bunker down with other people to seemingly survive the night. But they soon learn that a rogue group determined to return the United States to its purist form have taken to the streets willing to continue the purge until their cause in complete.
With the help of the family of ranchers (Josh Lucas and Cassidy Freeman) that Juan works for, the couple set out to get back to the Mexican border and escape the wrath of this band of terrorists.
Like "Election Year" "The Forever Purge" isn't afraid to make some not so subtle commentary on everything from immigration reform to white supremacy. This gives the film an eerie sense of realism that is rarely present in this genre, but the soap box moments have never been this series strong suit.
What does work is the simple victim on the run formula, looking to get revenge on the people trying to hunt them down. Gout and DeMonaco deliver that once again, using the location shift to Texas to give the film an almost wild wild west feel.
When "The Forever Purge" sticks to its formula and keeps things simple is when it is at its best. For the most part the film delivers on that level, knowing its lane and providing the loyal fan base exactly what they've come to expect from this series.