Hot Take: Most are saying this is the best of the trilogy. Thank goodness I didn’t have to suffer through the first two!
Call me a sucker. I did everything I could to avoid the first two installments of The Purge as neither looked to be more than something to satisfy the average horror fan’s bloodlust hidden in a commentary on America’s future. With all of the talk of how much of an improvement The Purge: Election Year was on its predecessors, I decided to throw caution to the wind (and better judgment) and see a movie that has little appeal to my sensibilities.
I should learn to trust my judgment. While The Purge: Election Year wasn’t the worst movie of 2016, it wasn’t good. The only thing I can ascertain is that somehow those who found this movie relevant and compelling somehow tied the course of events in the film to our current political climate. There’s a female Presidential candidate (Elizabeth Mitchell) as the protagonist against an evil regime and a more evil male Presidential candidate (Kyle Secor). Sound familiar?
While some might see this relevant, this feels more opportunistic than anything. Fearmongering is the new trend of the early 21st century and The Purge: Election Year looks to tap into the fear while taking subtle shots at other issues. You think it’s bad in this dystopian future? Ask Marcos (Joseph Julian Soria) about Mexico. The former Mexican citizen who became a U.S. citizen two years prior proves to be a marksman because in Mexico City, it was the purge every day. Ugh!
There’s nothing compelling about The Purge: Election Year. There’s plenty disgusting as the movie picks all of the low hanging fruit it possibly can. The worst of the bad guys are covered in Swastikas, confederate flags and crosses. The inner city Purgers are after candy bars and murder. Wives hurt their husbands. Gangs settle beefs. The religious right use it as a cleansing. The political protestors use it as a way to assassinate government officials. Worse yet, every step is telegraphed and you can see everything coming from a mile away.
Shame on me for expecting more. The trailer never promised more. The premise lends itself to shock schlock. In the end, The Purge: Election Year is exactly as advertised. Just don’t believe the hype.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- Kyle Secor
Secor’s past includes a marvelous stint on one of my favorite television shows of all time — Homicide: Life On the Streets. He’s completely over-the-top as Minister Edwidge Owens which is exactly what this part called for.
- Mykelti Williamson
He has a few one liners that bring a laugh. It’s about the best the movie can do.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- Cheap Shot Artist
There’s never a moment in The Purge: Election Year that bothers to take the high road.
- A Tired Concept
Even without seeing the first two, the concept felt tired. The original and the follow up have been parodied and satirized enough to give the third a feeling of repetitiveness.
- After 18 Years of Purging, Wouldn’t America Look a Little Different?
Outside of the yearly purge, is there a law against moving out of the city or maybe just maybe doing a little better job of fortifying your property? Lazy.