Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases
Elizabeth Mitchell – Senator Charlie Roan
Frank Grillo – Leo Barnes
Brittany Mirabile – Kimmy
Raymond J. Barry – NFFA Leader Caleb Warrens
Mykelti Williamson – Joe Dickson
Kyle Secor – Minister Edwidge Owens
Betty Gabriel – Laney
David Aaron Baker – NFFA Press Secretary Tommy Roseland
The Purge used to be about observing the most seemingly normal, everyday people turn into terrifying people and perform acts of selfish brutality. The entire concept won me over instantly with such a sinister, plausible idea. That atmosphere of the characters having to get home before the Purge begins at 7pm, and the slight panic of ensuring their home stays safe throughout – brilliant. Nowhere is safe, and safety is not guaranteed. Gripping games of Cat & Mouse kick off between purgers and survivors. Anything can be done to anyone – and yet it’s all legal. These are all elements to keep the viewer nicely on-edge, and from a personal view, The Purge was the first of its kind to strike a chord with me. Scary stuff.
Now The Purge has blended with soap opera and become dramatics between lead characters and their lives. An example is Senator Charlie Roan preparing for lockdown an hour or so before commencement; she sits quietly in her study as Barnes wanders around talking to security guards outside. He then comes in and talks to her, and the scene leads into her stood looking at a family photograph; memories.
I felt slightly bored.
Until it came…
I’m not some sort of siren fan or the type of person who appreciates a good doorbell, but bugger me the commencement announcement sends a shiver through me. It’s like a countdown to being very unsafe – and that wailing siren tops it off nicely. Along with this are split-second shots of empty American streets which are lit up and functioning as normal – just without a single person on them.
So, with the howling siren making me shiver a little as it blasted from the cinema’s surround speakers, I settled into my seat – content at the fact I had an empty bladder and wouldn’t need to run out to pee halfway through – and got ready..
I’ve had a few conversations in the past with people about The Purge movies. And I remember mentioning that if it was an annual event, would you not book the nearest flight to a different country and stay there a day or so? Something that hasn’t come up in the films – until now.
In The Purge: Election Year one of the scenes focuses on foreign tourists flying from their home country to the USA so that they can take part in the Purge. Terrifying tourism portrayed, the fuckers are seen dragging their suitcases through the terminal of JFK airport with excited looks on their faces.
Not exactly what I was thinking, showing scared Americans leaving, but it still blends the concept of the Purge with the outside world nicely.
The best character by far in this movie is Kimmy (Mirabile). Twisted and nasty, the girl is a perfect example of someone you wouldn’t want to meet on Purge night. And the actress puts such a stamp on the character that she actually becomes one of the leads. Mirabile fuels a fantastic energy into the purging school girl, her sneering face being the most memorable for me. Her tone of voice is just as harsh too, she is one hell of a nasty bitch.
This scene is perfectly purgey; the sinister way a car – wrapped in fairy lights – snakes down an empty street. Stops. And then the doors open to the sound of Miley Cyrus song Party In The USA blasting from the car stereo. The song creates an air of condractiction, it’s great. And Mirabile’s shout of, “I want my candy bar” and “you FUCK” (sounds more like “you FOCK”) by a shocking moment of death tops it off nicely. She definitely keeps the movie flowing. So keep your eyes peeled during this scene, it contains the sort of juicy action The Purge: Election Year needs. Which unfortunately, is what it also lacks in..
I can’t deny the scene where Senator Roan and her survivor followers end up in a secret hospital breaks up the movie nicely; by taking the viewer from the dangerous streets to the safe haven (like Tanya’s apartment in The Purge: Anarchy). But by god it’s dull. Plot-wise, the underground hospital is a Purge hospital for those who survive deadly attacks. But this means that because the lead character is a senator, she spends a good chunk of the movie wandering around shaking hands with people, sitting by a victim’s bedside, and spouting a lot of political rubbish (cue a load of “if I’m elected” moments). The only thing missing is her signing bloody autographs.
These moments then lead into a confrontation between Barnes and a government bully in a car park. Smack. Bam. Pow. (male aggression as punches are thrown), I started to feel one of my arse cheeks going numb. My arms were folded. Something exciting had to happen soon, surely..
Scene dynamics split nicely with the secret hospital, but otherwise it wasn’t very gripping and drifted back into the whole soap opera-style struggle for personal achievement, government employees disagreeing with each other, etc. Plus, if the Senator did win the election (I’m saying nothing) it would mean the end of any potential future Purge movies, no?
With nowhere near enough sinister behaviour as I’d hoped, The Purge: Election Year flopped for me. The first movie (Hide & Seek in a family home whilst a grinny chap stands on their doorstep) centered around the whole Purge concept but did absolutely nothing to display it properly.
The second movie took viewers out on to the streets and radiated an atmosphere of panic, dread, as two normal people were caught in the middle of warring streets, trying to make it home. This was much better than the first.
And then The Purge: Election Year – flopped like the first one. These three movies are like a reverse shit sandwich (you know where someone gives a positive, a negative, then ends on positive). In reverse, you have the shit – the good – the shit. Yes, the gem is caught between two shit buns. Which is ironic, because my buns had lost feeling by the end of this rubbish.
Of course you have the positives; the schoolgirl bitch, the appearance of the New Founding Fathers themselves, terrifying tourists, and that (almost iconic) siren.
But then you have the negatives; largely made up of politics.
Give The Purge: Election Year a go if you’ve seen the previous two – you may as well round it all off. But it’s seriously not worth paying to observe. Stream it online or something.
That’s what most people are doing nowadays, illegal or not.