Rapid Review: The Purge: Election Year (2016)

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” We will now purge. We will torture you and violate your flesh. Remove your skin and share in your blood. This is the American way.”
– Uncle Sam

SYNOPSIS: Years after sparing the man who killed his son, former police sergeant Barnes has become head of security for Senator Charlie Roan, a Presidential candidate targeted for death on Purge night due to her vow to eliminate the Purge. – via IMDB

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Man, oh man, was this ever a disappointment to me. I didn’t expect to love this as much as I did Anarchy, because that delivered on everything I ever wanted from a Purge movie, but I really thought that it would be more than this. Sure, I was expecting politics, the title told you as much, but I did  not expect the movie to be so tedious, for the master and star of Anarchy, Frank Grillo, to be reduced to a caricature of his former character, as well as have such a large group of unlikable characters. Really.

For instance, every time I wanted to warm to Joe Dixon, there were just racial slurs again (and seriously folks, as a South African and race being the central point of everything, it’s just the last thing you want to hear in a movie). I quite liked Marcos, and could not stand that stupid Kimmy/Freakbride/whatever that spoiled brat was called that had beef with Joe.

Anyway, the political overtures were over the top, the Purge itself didn’t have the same charm or draw as the last two films, the plot was just all over the show, there were some super dodgy “South Africans” in the beginning (bull), and the movie felt like it dragged because the pacing was faulty. Nope, I expected more after the last movie and Election Year simply did not deliver. I don’t have much to say about this, except that it was quite a let down, and not the greatest note to end these films on.

Rapid Review: The Purge: Anarchy (2014)

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“The unwritten Purge rule: don’t save lives. Tonight we take lives. We make things manageable.”
– Big Daddy

SYNOPSIS: Three groups of people are trying to survive Purge Night, when their stories intertwine and are left stranded in The Purge trying to survive the chaos and violence that occurs. – via IMDB

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So, I reviewed The Purge some time ago, and it was a movie I did not like. I even lamented the fact that it had a sequel coming, but oh boy, how wrong was I? I popped this in recently to watch with my husband, though we had no real faith, even though most reviewers said it was an improvement on the first. What ensued was 103 minutes of a total blast. We had a great time with this movie.

This is what I had been hoping for in the first one, not some run of the mill home invasion with some crazy plotsie going on outside. No, sir, I wanted to see what was going on outside, what would happen if you weren’t supposed to be outside, and what happened if you weren’t one of the very rich who could afford a state of the art security system. The Purge: Anarchy delivered on all those fronts and more. Sure, if you are going to sit and spend hours thinking too long, hard, and seriously about this, you will probably find nothing but fault with the concept and the implementation, etc. However, if you sit down, suspend reality to accept that the United States has a Purge Day on the 22nd of March each year for twelve hours, you are in for a good time.

Sure, the movie was predictable in places, but this actually didn’t hurt the film at all, because you are so drawn in, enthralled by this crazy concept. This movie was absolutely Frank Grillo’s movie – he was freaking fantastic! While the other characters are there and a part of this group, the one that really interests you is Grillo’s Sergeant. He dominates when he is on screen, and is a majorly compelling character. Grillo is definitely an underappreciated actor. I think that the score was also perfectly suited to the movie, and I liked it a lot.

I think that the Purge series is quite ambitious, but if they keep it up as they have, and don’t get stuck in the unimaginative rut of the first film, these could be movies well worth watching. Anyway, I thought that this was an exceptional improvement over the first dull entry to the franchise, and it definitely tapped into the potential that was there to work with, and I think the implementation was excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I do think, however, that one might like this if it is the only entry you have seen in the franchise, but one would definitely appreciate it more if one sees where is originally came from.