Last week, we reviewed The Purge: Election Year. (You can find it here if you missed it.) But I've been thinking about it since then. I felt like I still had to work through certain aspects of the movie, but it would have been too long to put in my review. So here's the rest of what I was thinking.
I really had to collect my thoughts after watching The Purge: Election Year, in order to decide how I felt about this latest installment to the franchise. I was having fun during the movie, despite the seriously one dimensional characters that are meant to be loved or hated, but much like the first movie in the trilogy, it hit a point that felt like a big dip in the road and I spent the rest of the run-time distracted by all the preaching.
|She keeps her Micky Mouse buns throughout the movie, a hint to her age and, you know, so you can recognize her|
This movie should probably be offensive to a lot of people, but I doubt anyone gives it as much thought. It’s set up in a way that discourages you from thinking by making the main characters heroic and completely not interested in purge night, and all the “evil” characters so obviously that, that you can tell you’re going to hate them before they even say anything. The first example of this in the movie is the girl who was outraged that she was stopped from stealing a candy bar that she wanted. Everything this girl said felt so entitled and bratty which, combined with her age, made her the ultimate representation of the Millennial generation in my mind. I don’t know how this girl functions during the rest of the year, but in the days leading up to purge night she apparently lets her psychotic nature take over.
Okay, now the Purge Tourists… This was a pretty cool idea, even though it's a little weird that other countries are looking up to America for being the most violent. But they had to go and do something I haven’t noticed since the Bourne movies were coming out, and that’s unnecessarily identify the tourists nationality, one that America constantly has turmoil with. They aren't the only tourists coming to participate, but these are the only ones getting identified. It has no bearing on the story in any way, but this way they can show these tourists screaming obscenities at the people they’re attacking. And who would dress up as American icons and historical figures to attack and kill American citizens, making a mockery of those icons and historical figures in the process? Those pesky Russians, of course. It looks like the Cold War is still alive and well.
The main group of characters is very lucky to have found each other in all the chaos going on, because they are apparently the only people on the planet who are entirely good people and have nothing to gain from participating in the purge. Even the people against Purge night are still planning to take advantage of it. In the name of good, of course. They are only convinced to change their plans when the only politician who says exactly what she means gets abducted by her opposition.
In my review, I said that it felt like the filmmakers just want to make a kill-crazy splatter film, but those are not the kind of movies that get wide releases in theatres. (Not since Saw?) And someone is clearly pressuring them to add more substance to their story. Maybe they should just go indie and do whatever they want.