The Purge series has always felt like a franchise that’s never reached it’s full potential. Unfortunately, Election Year does nothing to break that trend.
By Jay Hunter – The main arc is an interesting premise, in which crime (even murder) is legal in America for one night a year. As a young girl, Sen. Charlie Roan survived the annual night of lawlessness that took the lives of her family members. As a presidential candidate, Roan is determined to end the yearly tradition of blood lust once and for all. When her opponents hatch a deadly scheme, the senator finds herself trapped on the streets of Washington, D.C., 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.
Although in it’s third outing the Purge itself is nicely fleshed out, as we see the introduction of ‘murder tourists’ (people who fly into America from all around the world specifically to Purge) the movie feels very lightweight. For every interesting note we hear about insurance companies exploiting the American working class, we get another paper thin character with weak dialogue.
The Purge series should be more socially relevant in modern day America than it actually is, especially in a year as important as this one concerning the Presidential elections. Unfortunately there isn’t enough substance in any of the films to warrant the general public to really discuss what the movies say. The visuals in Election Year may be impressive, but in context they completely miss their intended target, coming off hokey instead of intimidating.
Election Year has a lot in common with a subdued haunted house that goes on for far too long. It drags on, with synthetic scares. It may look nice, but it has very little to actually say.