Thank God for black heroes on the big screen! If Black Panther proved anything, it was that we’ve been starving for black action heroes. The Marvel blockbuster hit gave us black hero after black hero and I’m still reeling in the warmth of pride in my chest over Wakanda.
The First Purge is certainly no Wakanda but it does give you a similar sense of fulfillment when you’re watching Y’lan Noel and Lex Scott Davis kick major ass on-screen in the latest installment of the franchise.
The prequel basically shows how the government has total control of the people and uses that power to literally murder poor communities of color. That’s the triggering part. We all know that the idea of each Purge is to attempt to help regulate an ever-increasing population by allowing legalized crime to last one full night. For many, the crimes of choice are murder and robbery.
This time, when the purge begins in Staten Island, N.Y., the powers that be are confused because folks aren’t purging. Instead, people of color are out in the streets, throwing purge parties. I love us for real.
In order to push the people into mayhem and murder, the government sends out trained killers to start taking people out. This is when it got a little too real pour moi.
The film introduces us to Dmitri (Y’lan Noe), and we know he’s a staple in the hood, but obviously, a hustler pumping drugs into the community he wants to (and ultimately ends up) saving.
Dmitri is a complicated hero, but a hero nonetheless, and as Noe’s thick arms flex in every scene, it’s hard not to think about Wesley Snipes and his solidified spot in black pop culture as our premiere action hero.
“When I picked up the script, I was dealing with some rather unsavory qualities of the character and the idea that while he feels he’s a protector of the community, he’s selling poison to the community,” says Noe, aka, solid eye candy. “Why does a young black man like Dmitri feel that’s something he has to do? How do you justify something like that? The character has to confront those same questions.”
You will too when you watch Noe in The First Purge. Spoiler alert: these two black folks make it through the whole movie! Look at us, surviving!
Go see The First Purge on July 4th!