THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR

2 Reviews/One Movie

Starring Frank Grillo, Elizabeth Mitchell, Mykelti Williamson, Joseph Julian Soria, Betty Gabriel
Directed by James DeMonaco
2016 / 105 Minutes / Universal Pictures

First Review by Elise

★★★

The Purge: Election year a.k.a. Trump’s America. Scary thought, isn’t it?

I’m a fan of The Purge trilogy even though, overall, they’re not great movies. Good enough is more like it. I was pretty excited going into this one to see what they would do this time but I left the theatre disappointed because it’s basically a rehash of the film before it, The Purge: Anarchy. This movie would be better off NOT having an overarching plot about main characters that no one really cares about and instead stuck to the smaller stories of people surviving on purge night.

My biggest gripe with this film is the writing. It is astonishingly both under and over written. The characters have hardly any development and I would not be surprised if the actor’s read from cue cards because of how much dialogue is crammed into their mouths. I love how diverse the cast of this movie is but I have a HUGE problem with the fact that they are basically all racial stereotypes. I couldn’t have been the only one made uncomfortable by certain characters mentioning both fried chicken and waffles.

If each film had a different writer/director team instead of the same dude every time, I think that would make this series a thousand times better. I’m crossing my fingers for the next one…

Listen to Elise on her podcast Don’t Go Into the Basement discuss The Purge: Election YearCLICK HERE

Grade C+

Second Review by Brent

★★½

I just recently watch the first two films (those reviews coming soon) so that I could go and see this first one. I had heard a lot about this series and had high hopes going into it. Boy was I disappointed! I won’t talk about the first two right now, but I’d say this third one is basically on the same page as all of them. No improvement – just the same old, same old.

This time they’re changed the rules and now no one has immunity from purge night. So now all the politicians are free game. Great idea right? Yeah it really is. I have to say one this about this Purge series is that they are brilliant ideas. It’s a terrific premise that unfortunately isn’t executed with the same brilliance or originality. Instead it’s really, really bad dialogue that makes me cringe and none of the characters feel real. There’s something about the writing that is just plain bad. I never feel like any of these characters matter. I don’t care about any of them! As a view I need to care about some of the characters in order for me to feel any sort of excitement or edge of my seat anxiety. Isn’t the idea of a horror film (which I don’t think I would put this series in that category at all) to terrify your audience and have them worry about the characters in the film! Without that I’m bored… I don’t care what happens to any of the people in this film or the other films. I don’t connect with any of them because they are soulless, empty shell, badly written characters and that is a huge reason this series just fails completely for me.

Side Note: The girl who wants the candy bar was hilarious and will probably go down as one of the most annoying ridiculous performances of the year. BUT, she made me laugh.

An example of how this (and the other movies) are a mess… there is a scene where people are coming to the USA to participate in the Purge… WHAT? This is brilliant! This is a movie in itself! Instead its a 5 minute section of the movie that ends in the most ridiculous way that I literally laughed out loud in the theatre. This is another example of how a great idea is completely wasted because of BAD BAD writing. It’s so awful!

There was so much potential for this film and for the entire series that it’s really been disappointing. I would love for this series to go away for awhile and come back with a new writer and director with a new vision to be able to tell these stories with much more substance and originality. I really wanted to like this movie and I think there are some decent moments, but again it’s just the same film as the 2nd one and neither are anything to be excited about. Such wasted potential on a brilliant premise.

Grade C-

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