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The Purge Franchise is Tedious, Self-Destructive, and Simply Wrong

Updated on July 9, 2020
Robert J Sodaro profile image

Robert J. Sodaro is an American-born writer, editor, and digital graphic artist who loves writing about comics, movies, and literature.

The Purge: Election Year

Just as bad as the previous two films.
Just as bad as the previous two films. | Source


The Purge: Election Year: Rated R” (1 hours, 45 minutes)

Starring: Frank Grillo, Elizabeth Mitchell, Edwin Hodge, Betty Gabriel, JJ Soria

Directed by: James DeMonaco

Stealing a Cool Concept and Making it Worse

So, we’ve seen a pair of Purge movies already, (The Purge, and The Purge: Anarchy), and so now it is (apparently) election year; and while we wish that we could honestly tell you that either one of these films was worth the price of entrance into the theater (or the time spent watching them), we simply can’t, because, truthfully we believe that that the mere concept of the film is — quite honestly — pretty much the stupidest thing we’ve ever heard of on which to base a film (although, to be fair, it wasn’t all that atrocious back in February of ’67 when it was the the concept behind the episode of the original Star Trek series episode entitled The Return of the Archons where the natives embraced an event called “Festival”). The premise of that episode was that the crew landed on a sedate planet during a period of violence, destruction, and sexual aggressiveness which apparently was the only time a being known as Landru did not exercise control over the populace, and they were allowed to go wild (think Mardi Gras in New Orleans French Quarter or Rio, except on steroids).

The Purge: Election Year

The Purge: Election Year [DVD]
The Purge: Election Year [DVD]
It's been two years since Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo) stopped himself from a regrettable act of revenge on Purge Night. Now serving as head of security for Senator Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell), his mission is to protect her in a run for president and survive the annual ritual that targets the poor and innocent. But when a betrayal forces them onto the streets of D.C. on the one night when no help is available, they must stay alive until dawn…or both be sacrificed for their sins against the state.

A Bad Idea Explained

The concept of The Purge is similar, except more violent (think Festival, except on Crack Cocaine). The Purge is a 12-hour period where everyone in the U.S. was allowed to act out their most violent tendencies and everything (up to and including murder) was perfectly legal, and (insanely) totally acceptable. Now, while this might have made sense to someone in a meeting somewhere, we can’t see this as an even remotely viable idea (we are more likely to believe that a man can fly, that extraterrestrials really exist, or even that Dragons once walked the earth).

The Purge: Election Year - Official Trailer

No, We Really Don't Like this Film

So, yeah, We’re not about to mince words here. We not only hated the first film, but we also pretty much despised the second film as well. We honestly believe that that this film is every bit as moronic as it is based on a defective and completely idiotic premise. We simply can’t buy that that even through dirty Koch brother-level political antics and the hate-filled, racist rhetoric that has filled even this current political season that something as fundamentally unsound and deeply flawed a politically ideology as having one night a year where all forms of violence and depravity can be perpetuated without any consequence or reparations is simply unbelievably stupid; making this series of films the badly-conceived, and horribly written violent, splatter-punk equivalent of torture-porn. Who thinks that it is a good idea that the citizens of the good ol’ U.S. of A. should celebrate their annual right to Purge themselves of all their animalistic emotions? Just imagine the morning after the night before “Hey Joe, last night I totally killed your son, burned down your house, decapitated your wife, shot your dog, and shattered both of your arms, but hey, that was last night during the Purge, so you want to go out for beers on Saturday?” Who thinks that’s going to work?

This is Your Political Party

Don't look now, but you've just been Purged!
Don't look now, but you've just been Purged! | Source

Nothing About it is Socially Redeeming

Well, if we haven’t frightened you yet with the flawed undercurrent premise of this film series, then let’s take it just a tad further (if that is even possible, given the above paragraph). Instead of satisfying our dangerously moronic and violent selves with the neighborhood liquor store or the nearby 7/11, we decide to blow up the Golden Gate Bridge, The Empire State Building, or, you know, The White House? Like that’s not gonna occur to anyone, eh? Still, even if any of those scenarios we just mentioned are perhaps a tad far-fetched, just think about the amount of metric tonnage of damage that several bands of roving hoards hopped up on their own testosterone that are hell-bent on participating in the ultimate form of “Mischief Night” that they couldn’t do as kids.

The Party is just Getting Started

Yeah, No one want's to be part of this party.
Yeah, No one want's to be part of this party. | Source

And Here is Our Proof

Just remember, it’s been just over a decade since Katrina and New Orleans still hasn’t fully recovered. Just think how could we as a nation ever possibly recover from that level of damage done every single year in every city in the country. Not such a good idea any more, eh?

The Senator and her Bodyguard

Wild in the Streets
Wild in the Streets | Source

Consider the Consequences

Seriously, just think about it for a second, “My boss is a flaming A-Hole, so I’m going to drive an 18-wheeler through his front door, torture and kill his kids, rape his wife and (under-age) children, burn his house to the ground, loot his business, castrate him, then start to get truly creative with my Purge.” Are we starting to frighten you yet? No, well how about this? We are a disgruntled member of the armed forces, so we co-opt an F-14 Tomcat, an SR71 Blackbird, a B1-Bomber, an Abrams A1-Tank, or the even the access codes to a bank of ICBMs sporting nuclear warheads, and declare a holy jihad on, well anyone who isn’t us. Think that any of this couldn’t happen, well you clearly haven’t thought this scenario all the way through.

The Gang's All Here

A gathering of heroes
A gathering of heroes | Source

The Core Concept is Foolish

Yeah, the nonsensical concept of this foolishness is that the New Founders of America have instituted with The Purge (now in having been in practice for several years). In the first film it was the neighborhood of some rather well-off citizens that were pillaged. In the second film we got to see what life looked like on the other side of the tracks during the Purge. That film transformed the Purge into a thinly-veiled race war. With this third outing, it has morphed into full-scale class warfare with most definite racial overtones.

The Purge: Anarchy - Theatrical Trailer

Even the Plot is Nonsensical

And so, with this installment, we are presented with not only Sen. Charlene Roan (Mitchell), who, as a young girl, survived a Purge where her entire family was killed, but Leo Barnes (Grillo) who (in the last film) managed to stop himself from performing a regrettable act of revenge on the night of the Purge. Now Sen. Roan is a presidential candidate, who is determined to end the yearly tradition of blood lust once and for all (yea!), and Barnes who is the head of her security detail. However, her political opponents aren’t too keen on this idea, and hatch a deadly scheme to kill her. Now the senator and Barnes find themselves trapped on the streets of Washington, D.C., just as the latest Purge gets underway. Now, it’s up to Barnes to keep her alive over the next 12 hours of death, destruction, and unconditional mayhem.

The Purge in D.C.

A higher level of destruction
A higher level of destruction | Source

No, Really, Don't Go See this film

Sure, sure, in the realm of über-violent bread and circuses we can (on some obscure, reprehensible level) somewhat satisfying to be able to Hulk out Rambo Style and slaughter anyone who ever irked us on any level, but honestly, this is still nowhere an even remotely reasonably premise, and that total and complete disconnect simply ruins the entire experience of sitting in the dark facing forward and experiencing escapist entertainment. There is nothing slightly entertaining about this concept or film, and we totally recommend that you bypass it. Hopefully if no one pays to see it, the company producing it will cease making any further attempts to extend the franchise.

Holding Hostage

No good dead will go unpunished.
No good dead will go unpunished. | Source

The Purge Official Trailer #1

© 2016 Robert J Sodaro


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