Friday, July 8, 2016


This movie chose a great time to be released, I'm not sure if that will affect its long-term shelf-life, but for now, this movie feels appropriate.

The original Purge was a pretty crappy movie, yes the idea was genius, but the film itself? A boring home invasion film, luckily, the sequels have corrected that. Starting with The Purge Anarchy, this series has moved the action to the streets, which feels appropriate. I don't personally think the series has reached its full potential, largely because murder on the streets doesn't showcase the full potential of committing crimes during a day where everything is legal, but thus far The Purge:Election Year is the closest this series has come to showing the full advantage of a day like that.

The funniest thing for this franchise lies in the marketing, largely because it still acts like this is a horror series, despite the sequels feeling more like gritty action films, to its credit, there are genuine scenes of fear in here, but the movies have largely left that in favor of a violent, exploitation feel. I understand there are people who will still see these movies with fear, but honestly, my biggest fear in these movies lie in the idea that people are dumb enough to let this happen, after seeing the current primaries, I believe this is a possibility. In fact, while the funniest thing to me is the horror presentation, the most shocking thing is how political this series has gotten, sure it's pretty much hitting your head over it, but.  The movie is too fun not to enjoy it, despite the preachy messages, in fact that overly preachiness mixed with the schlock violence mixes into a movie that is smarter than it needed to be, even if it's still dumb.

As hinted at earlier, the movie has some really proper timing on its hands, coming in just as the primaries are winding down. The votes have been cast, the support has been shown, we now know It's Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump (pipe down Bernie fans, he fought a good fight, but he's not gonna win it) which seems to be what the movie was going for (okay to be fair the Trump stand in could be any Republican, which is fitting), we have a female senator (played by Elizabeth Mitchell) who some think will change the world, others think will do nothing but keep the status quo and her detractors who are largely old white men, boy doesn't that sound familiar? She's Clinton, but pushed to an extreme of purity, which for the record I don't believe Clinton is, but I also believe she has done good and will keep doing good as president, even if flawed, because no one is perfect.

Mitchell's opposing candidate (Kyle Secor in the role of a senator who also happens to be a minister, in case the metaphor was lost on you) isn't particularly any one Republican, but in a year with Trump leading a group of supporters who are bigoted enough to sound like cartoon characters, or characters in this movie, yeah, it feels like a perfect stand in, even if there's not much similarity with the character himself. We don't see much of the minister, but I think that works in the film's favor, as we see his supporters being everything we imagine Trump supporters being (the bad guy we see the most of wears a confederate flag, a swastika, and every other hateful symbol you can think of) which keeps the movie feeling topical, while also satiric. This movie is silly, over the top and not subtle, but it feels appropriate in a year with a reality show star running as a serious contender, using hate as his main attraction, hopefully this silliness does positively affect voters though, you can't let hatred win, even if the opposing member is nowhere near as perfect as her movie stand-in.

This review probably is more political than it should be, but it's kinda hard ignoring it with this movie, sure I can discuss more on the negatives and positives, but everything is so overt, it feels hard to say much about those things. How's the action? Great! How's Frank Grillo? Just as cool as last time, even if he isn't necessarily needed here, though he at least makes the world building in this franchise interesting. How's the purge night action? Cool we see foreigners, a medieval fight club, a pendulum and a crazed candy bar fan. Is there anything wrong with this movie? Hard to say, sure everything is overt, the dialogue can be cheesy and scenes can be incredibly stupid, but they feel right here, it just fits. See? Hard to detail without talking about the politics.

I had a great time at The Purge:Election Year, I don't know if that makes it a great movie, but it's a damn fun and one I'll be revisiting as the year continues.

P.S. I highly recommend you give this a shot, but before you delve into a mad world, please stop to take a moment of silence for our recent loses at the hands of not only crazed gun-men, but also police. These movies may be fiction, but with the world we see today, they feel like warnings, enjoy and be safe. Thank you for reading.

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Written By Octaviano Macias

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