Best Purge Ever? The Purge: Election Year Puts Politicians On The Chopping Block
Imagine waking up to find that all your neighbours secretly love Insane Clown Posse (the classic incarnation, not the new, magnet-worshipping version). A Washington, DC where everyone’s a juggalo for 12 hours is the setting for The Purge: Election Year. It’s the third instalment in an ultra-violent franchise where the premise is that for one night every year, everything is legal and everyone’s favourite crime is elaborately staged mass murder. (Think alleyway guillotines, star-spangled AK-47s, and ritual sacrifices made in front of packed pews at the church altar.)
Purge faithful chant “Blessed be America” in an eerie echo of Trump’s “Make America Great Again,” believing (or pretending to) that the Purge cleanses the soul and the nation. Purge opponents know that it’s just a way to keep the country solvent: victims are overwhelmingly the poor and ethnic minorities.
In the run up to the March 21 Purge Day, a young presidential candidate (Lost’s Elizabeth Mitchell) campaigns on ending the Purge. She’s got her own personal reasons for it (involving T. Rex’s “20th Century Boy” and a Purge night game called Mommy’s Choice). Her political opponents, the New Founding Fathers, aim to maintain the gory status quo. No one places a higher value on tradition than rich old white guys.
After an attempt on her life by a band of Neo Nazi mercenaries (yes, this movie has everything), the candidate and her loyal bodyguard Leo (Purge franchise veteran Frank Grillo) hit the streets, teaming up with a deli owner and an activist to try to make it through the night. Over the course of the next few hours they face off with Russian murder tourists, professional killers, and the most entitled millennials of all time. The protagonists say things like, “I can’t believe we’re outside again!” while you think ‘Duh, this is a Purge movie.’
For fans of the franchise, Election Year does not disappoint. The concept still has legs, the violent visuals still shock and/or entertain, and there might even be a message buried somewhere in this thing. Just don’t go see this movie to hear well-crafted dialogue. There isn’t any. That’s not writer/director James DeMonaco’s thing.
The Purge: Election Year is out July 1. Celebrate Canada Day by being grateful that you’re not an American.