Purge lacks horror

July 13, 2016

Courtesy Rotten Tomatoes

Roman Blat as Uncle Sam in latest Purge movie



The Purge: Election Year continues the tradition.


Sen. Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell) survived the annual night of lawlessness that took the lives of her family members.


Senator Roan, now a presidential candidate, is determined to end the yearly tradition of the Purge, once and for all. 


Her opponents want to end her campaign the only way they know best –through the Purge. 


The senator finds herself trapped on the streets of Washington just as the latest Purge gets underway.


Now, it’s up to Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo), her head of security, to keep her alive during the next 12 hours of mayhem.


The Purge: Election Year is heavy-handed in its message to the movie going audience. 


Killing is bad, which is addressed in the message. However, most of the main characters shoot and kill the ‘Purgers’.


Beyond this simple message, there are allusions to the real U.S. politics currently underway. 


Even the title brings to mind the scandal filled election season. From xenophobia, to corrupt public officials and class warfare, this movie has no care for subtlety. 


I have to give a special note to whomever the costume designer is, because I truly enjoyed the interesting wardrobe choices for the different ‘Purgers’. 


You have ‘The Crazies’ who are tourists who come to America to participate, and their costuming are all in reference to some American icon, such as George Washington, Uncle Sam and the Statue of Liberty.


One of my biggest gripes about this movie is that, beyond costuming, there is no world outside the one the characters inhabit. 


For example, everyone who is outside at night is only there to kill.


There is a book full of laws that become null and void during the Purge, and the only thing anyone wants to do is kill? 


While watching certain scenes, I can hear this movie echo out in reference to The Warriors. The only problem is that while


‘The Warriors’ had a destination, our main characters in this movie seem to just fumble their way to different plot points. 


I enjoyed the premise for the The Purge: Election Year very much, but it comes off like a generic action shooter with elements of horror mixed in. 


The horror elements seemed to only work through jump scares, and the action is only gunfights. 


There is no real variation in the horror or action. 


I give The Purge: Election Year 3 stars out of 5.

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