As a primer for last night’s Vice President debates, I decided that I had to find a movie that could serve as a proper introduction. And while my selection may not have been as perfect as something like It or Killer Clowns from Outer Space after watching Tim Kaine’s clown impression, I do believe my selection was somewhat fitting. What was that? It was the 2016 action/horror flick The Purge: Election Year.
Plot/ 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.
While there are issues with almost every sequel that exists, there are times where these flaws become very evident and can turn a viewer off. In this one, one of the most visible was the over use of stereotypes within the storyline that did not need to be used to get the point across. Personally, I hate seeing stereotypical behavior because it can take away from the overall message of the film. Like with the first films, the cast is decent with a couple solid performances, there is enough action, the blood and effects come across really well, and the storyline is intriguing (even if the idea and political overtones are polarizing and may not resonate with everyone). Of course, the politics in this movie will definitely turn some viewers off (even though it may skirt around our reality), as it comes across in a way that exploits many of the truths that people across this country (and the globe) want to ignore. As with many action/horror films, the performances are uneven and the dialog is all over, but those aspects do not really bring the movie down. In the end, this one will not be for everyone and it will likely fall into the love/hate spectrum that many horror flicks fall into. For me, I think it was an interesting change in the mythology of the series and a fitting movie for this overwhelmingly surreal election season. Who knows, depending on who wins the election, these movies may become survival guides.