Review: ‘The Purge: Election Year’ is Expected Campy Violence You May Enjoy
“The Purge: Election Year” brings the campy violence you’ve come to know.
Over the years we’ve seen quite the evolution of “The Purge” franchise. And since that first film we’ve seen things expand from a very introspective look into a more broader approach. In the second film we we’re no longer confined to one house, instead we find out what the city actually looks like on this ravenous day. For “The Purge: Election Year,” we see things expand beyond the city going into the political realm. But has this expanded perspective drifted too far? Let’s find out.
Cinematics (Cinematography, Acting, Plot, etc.) – 2
On a cinematic level you cannot expect much from “The Purge: Election Year.” The film attempts to squeeze juice from a plot that essentially dried up after the first film. The movie is predictable, the characters are simple, and overall the acting isn’t much to talk about. But honestly that’s not what you’re looking for in this film anyways.
“The Purge: Election Year” is essentially a hodgepodge of violence and overall anarchy with a bit of story sprinkled in between. There is a bit of development in regards to why the purge happened in the first place but they never flesh out the details to truly answer the questions you may have had. This would’ve bothered me more if I actually cared about the premise of the film, but the logic behind the plot never made any sense, even after the first film.
For those that were hoping for further development of Frank Grillo’s character Leo from “The Purge: Anarchy,” you may be disappointed. He’s lost that vigilante vendetta that drove his character originally. With his motives now revolving around protection rather than vengeance, he’s also lost his edge a bit. He’s no longer the “honorary Punisher” that audiences loved from the second film. In all honesty, Frank Grillo doesn’t feel like he has a lot of screen time with respect to the rest of the cast.
The driving force of Frank Grillo’s character is Senator Charlie Roan played by Elizabeth Mitchell. She plays a very strong-willed character with an agenda that makes her a target. She is the one person that can end the purge if she is elected as president. Like most of the characters she’s very one dimensional playing the part of a distinguished politician with a strong controversial stance.
Despite many characters being lackluster, there was one character that stood out as the most intriguing. Mykelti Williamson’s (Bubba from “Forrest Gump”) character Joe was the most relatable and unique element of the film. There are more layers to his character than expected and his charismatic performance brings some much needed heart to the film.
Overall this film is in complete disarray. It’s chaotic but the chaos is expected in a film like this.
Entertainment Value – 3.5
“The Purge: Election Year” thrives on violent shock and awe. Just like “The Purge: Anarchy,” things are fast paced with multiple threats throughout the film. Because of this, the film keeps your attention with the constant battle ensuing throughout along with many surprise thrills intended to make you jump.
The costumes are also a bit more theatrical that the previous films. Characters are dressed in more than just body armor and fatigues. This time around the purge is promoted as “Halloween for adults” and the participants definitely take advantage of that with their attire.
The film is a train wreck but it’s one that you can’t take your eyes off of.
Re-Watchability – 2.5
“The Purge” franchise has been a guilty pleasure for myself and many others. “The Purge: Election Year” carries on that legacy but doesn’t stand out as the best of the three films. Much of what was seen in “The Purge: Anarchy” is present in this film so I would probably rank this film as last in the re-watchability scale in comparison.
I would be interested in re-watching this while channel surfing but I’m definitely going to seek out the other films in the franchise first.
- Entertainment Value
"The Purge: Election Year" continues the guilty pleasure in this third installment of the franchise. There's not much to this film but that should be expected for audiences who are familiar with the other films.
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