These Movies Just Get better and better!
Most of you may not know this, but The Purge franchise has been something of a "guilty pleasure" for me for years. I've always had a soft spot for slasher films, but I really didn't care for the first Purge, which came out in 2013. But I was intrigued by the idea of The Purge, and so when I found out they were making a sequel right away in 2014, I was interested. The Purge: Anarchy was exactly what I was hoping for: witnessing The Purge on the streets of LA. Sure, it was completely void of substance. This one is too. But man are these movies fun to watch, and I didn't think I'd be saying it but this film is the best Purge yet. So let's get our purge on, shall we?
So there really isn't anything this film gets wrong, minus the fact that of course it is devoid of substance, but is it? There are some striking similarities between the world of this film and our current world, and that was a little jarring. There's no doubt that director James DoMonaco and company made a concerted effort to make this film.....smarter than the other two, but I did my best to turn my brain off and enjoy the craziness that is this film. And crazy it is. This film follows the classic "bigger, better, and more badass" approach that most sequels follow, and I had absolutely no problem with that. The action was more gruesome, the "seeing other people purging" was more frequent and amazing, and I actually kind of dug how this film was shot. Kudos to cinematographer Jacques Jouffret for really bringing his style to this one, which he didn't really in the previous two Purge films. The way the tense standoffs were shot in particular was amazing.
I know you're hearing me say that word a lot, but it really does sum up this film: amazing. Sure, it's not for everyone. Sure it's not going to make my best films of 2016 list. But it's definitely my favorite film of the year to this point. Oh! And as if the slasher porn wasn't enough, there are some great performances in here as well! Lost star Elizabeth Mitchell is a WELCOME addition to this franchise (and will likely show up again in the inevitable fourthquel) and Frank Grillo is excellent as well. But the real stars here are all the extras. There are a TON of extras in this film and they absolutely slash their way to the best performances I've seen from extras since 2015's It Follows. And the best part of all of this? These films don't build off each other AT ALL. So, if you've been debating whether to check this franchise out or not, The Purge: Election Year is as good a place to start as any. Check it out and happy purging!
The Critique: The Purge is a rare case of a franchise getting better with age. Despite little depth to its story, The Purge: Election Year is a wonderful gem of a slasher flick with some startling ties to reality.
The Recommendation: Definitely NOT for the family. But, jokes aside, if you like slasher films and haven't checked out The Purge franchise yet.....change that now.
The Verdict: 9/10 Awesome