I’ve elected to review The Purge: Election Year, and shall be vetting its ideas and studying its proposals decide if it’s a prime candidate or an also-ran. So read on only if you’ve already seen The Purge: Election Year, or don’t plan to.
0:01:08 The film begins with T-Rex “20th Century Boy” and Original-P “Give Up The Funk” playing on an iPod. A man in a mask is talking to a bound and bloodied family sitting together on the sofa before him about his Purge playlist. I can’t decide if the family is suffering because of the torture or the playlist. What would you put on yours? “Dirty Deeds (Done Dirt Cheap)” “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me”?
[N.B. At the bottom of the page, you’ll find a link to the soundtrack and songs from the film. You’ll also find a Collaborative playlist to add songs to your Purge playlist! What song would you listen to when you’re out Purging? Add your choice to the playlist to make the perfect Purge!]
0:02:08 The bloke in the mask announces the new Purge game is mommy will decide who survives. #Sophie’sChoiceCuts
0:02:58 18 years later, and 2 days before the purge, there are riots in the streets with people apparently unaware of the irony in using violence to protest the Purge.
0:03:34 Mention is made of the up and coming presidential election which pits a New Founding Fathers candidate (Kyle Secor as Minister Edwidge Owens) against wild card and anti-purge candidate Senator Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell). In the 2016 U.S. election there are also a male and female candidate. Coincidence? Like diarrhoea after Taco Bell is coincidence.
0:03:38 We learn Charlie is the one whom mum picked to survive in the intro scene, 18 years earlier. The mum must be rolling in her grave, seeing her daughter has wasted her life by becoming a politician.
[N.B. My dearest American readers, I need your help! Can any of you tell me who these presenters are? Are they really a morning chat show team, or are they simply actors playing the part? I’ve spent ever so much time online researching this yet, alas, to no avail!]
0:04:08 Senator Roan is the first real threat to the New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA) since the party was formed 25 years ago. 25 years isn’t that old. There’s cheese in my fridge older than that.
Caleb Warrens: It’s time to do something about all these cock suckers, like that rat Bishop and the cunt senator trying to dismantle everything we’ve built.
[N.B. 🐔The only character to appear in all three Purge films, Dwayne ‘Dante’ Bishop was credited as the ‘Bloody Stranger’ in the first Purge. In that instalment, he was the person of colour set upon by the Purgers who then took refuge in the house where the film was set.]
0:05:56 The presidential debate resembles less an exchange of political opinions and more a white person comedy rap battle. Minister Owens and Senator Roan say obvious things, but the crowd cheers Roan because they think it’s a rock concert. No doubt because rocks are what’s filling their heads.
March 20, 1 day before the annual Purge
0:09:48 In a gesture they claim is meant appease the masses but is, in fact, intended to promote political assassination, the NFFA change the rules to authorise the killing of ‘level 10’ politicians (which obviously includes Senator Roan). Where was this rule when George Bush was president?
0:10:52 A news presenter in the airport informs viewers that young people are coming from all over the world to participate in the Purge. Kind of like what Americans do now, but in reverse.
0:12:47 In a local bodega, teenaged girls (Juani Feliz, and Brittany Mirabile as “Freakbride Kimmy”) harass the shop owner (Mykelti Williamson as Joe Dixon), until a young woman associate of the owner (Betty Gabriel as “OG badass” Laney Rucker) threatens the girls. Always a good idea to antagonise as many natives as possible on the day just before the Purge.
0:16:31 Joe’s insurance company raises his Purge insurance rate by thousands of dollars, so he decides he’ll protect the shop himself when the time comes. It might be more logical to Purge his insurance company.
Purge Night – 12 minutes to the annual Purge
0:18:42 Laney climbs inside a reinforced ambulance because she and another woman will be driving around the city, providing aid to those who need it. Thus, she is literally looking for trouble.
0:18:56 Remember Leo Barnes from The Purge: Anarchy? No? He was the bloke who left his car unlocked in the most dangerous part of the city, neglected to verify the car was empty when he returned, and then chose to drive directly at a madman with a 50 calibre machine gun mounted in the rear of a semi, when he could have reversed and driven safely away. Yes, well, this is the chap they put in charge of Senator Charlie Roan’s security. WTF!?
0:20:22 The Purge begins. I’m reminded the sound effects (sirens, in this case) and the music are not the worst part of this film.
0:23:44 Laney and her partner drive through the city and see a group beheading people with a guillotine in an alley. #FrenchToast
0:25:06 While Joe takes up a defensive position on the roof atop his shop, Marcos (Joseph Julian Soria), his young, immigrant sidekick arrives surreptitiously. WTF!? Do people really sneak up behind their gun toting, booze drinking allies during the Purge? For God’s sake, this isn’t even safe behaviour outside of Purge night!
0:26:06 Freakbride arrives with her wedding partiers, decked out in full regalia and carrying an impressive cache of weapons. Do the two heavily armed men immediately shoot the trio, as that’s precisely what they came onto the roof to do? No, they simply stand and watch. WTF!? It’s moments like this I suspect the Purge is actually a Darwinian rite designed to weed out stupid people from the gene pool.
[The music to this scene is “Party in the U.S.A.” as performed by Alana D (AKA Alana Da Fonseca). My playlist has the original Miley Cyrus version as the Alan D version is not available online.]
0:29:27 Senator Roan’s campaign manager (Ethan Phillips as Chief Couper) and Leo Barnes’ right hand man (Adam Cantor as Tall Eric Busmalis) are involved in the plot to kill the senator. Of course they are. It’s not as though Leo Barnes has demonstrated sufficient intelligence at any moment during the franchise to make us believe he’d be an effective Head of Security.
0:31:32 Eric lets militia with White Power patches sewn onto the backs of their camo uniforms into the safe house. They have more power in their weapons than their skin, however.
0:32:24 Leo discovers the ruse and that Roan is in danger. This is really not like him. Totally out of character.
0:34:27 WTF!? Leo and Charlie escape through a trap door under a carpet, and somehow after dropping from it to a lower floor, they’re still able to close the trap door and replace the carrier on top of it!? From the other side!?
0:35:56 Leo is shot by a sharpshooter but he’s wearing a magical bulletproof vest so he’ll be fine. At the same time, he detonates a remote explosive device he left behind in Roan’s office which decimates Eric, Chief Couper, and a handful of mercenaries. #BreachOfContractKiller
0:37:14 Purge victim removal services passes by. WTF!? One would think this could be done the day after without risking the safety of the workers.
0:41:51 Charlie and Leo are tased by the Uncle Sam and Statue of Liberty figures from the poster. These are ‘murder tourists’ from Russia. Murder Tourists is a nice twist I hope they explore in more depth.
0:42:23 Foreigners – murder tourists – pull Roan and Barnes along the sidewalk. They find this a drag.
0:43:44 Joe and Marcos recognise the senator from their rooftop so the two of them sneak down and kill a dozen murder tourists with pistols. So much for expanding on the idea of murder tourism. And this epitomises my main complaint about the Purge franchise. The poster for this film was superb, yet the people on it are only in the film for all of 65 seconds. We go to see these films for the promise made on the poster yet all we’re given is a poor substitute. I long for the day a Purge film is as good as its marketing.
0:47:34 While Joe, Marcos, Leo and Charlie get to know each other in the bodega, Freakbride returns with more of her posse in the fairy lights parade.
0:48:02 WTF!? Why aren’t the people on the bodega going on the roof and shooting the looters rather than just pacing in the shop and complaining? They could easily eliminate these girls…To the victors go the spoiled.
Freakbride: Hey you fuck! I’m back, and I brought some friends. And I’m gonna get that candy bar.
The only thing worse than this line is the way it’s read. That she would go to all of this trouble for a candy bar reminds me of John Wick.
0:51:34 Laney heard the message Joe left her on her cell, so she arrives and takes out Freakbride and her Maid of Horror, who are feeling very run down all of a sudden.
0:52:07 Laney shoots the other girls who arrived with the wedding partiers.
0:53:35 Everyone piles into the back of the ambulance to go to an underground triage centre that Laney assures us is totally secure. Would that be Leo Barnes secure or actually secure?
0:56:52 The militia in the helicopter are able to track Senator Roan through the bullet lodged in Leo’s shoulder. They light up the ambulance but only kill the passenger who didn’t know who the senator was. Proof how important it is to vote.
0:57:54 WTF!? To escape pursuit of the helicopter, Leo instructs the driver of the ambulance to stop under a bridge, immediately beside a heavily armed mob fighting each other with weapons. Because this is Leo’s idea of safety.
0:59:12 Leo finally realises the enemy can track him because of his tracer bullet, so he pulls it out with long forceps while the medical team in the vehicle do nothing more than look on with disgust.
There’s a whole bunch of negroes coming right this way, and we sitting up here like a bucket of mother fucking chicken.
Joe, as the ballers approach
Apparently this isn’t racist if a white man [director James DeMonaco] pays a black man to say it.
1:00:54 The “Negroes” are yelling and banging on the ambulance with their weapons not because they were purging, but because that’s the way they ask for emergency assistance for a fallen friend. Perhaps all inner city violence is the result of a misunderstanding.
1:03:48 Senator Charlie Roan meets Dante Bishop in an underground homeless shelter known as “The Safe Zone”. The Safe Zone is like the Friend Zone, but for “negroes”.
Senator Roan: Mr. Bishop, I’ve heard stories of tactics that you employ on Purge Night… I can’t say that I agree with any of it.
🐔 Here, she’s making a reference to Purge 2: Anarchy, where a group of armed men under Bishop’s command attacked packs of rich purgers like teens commenting on YouTube.
1:10:22 Leo and Charlie uncover a plot by Bishop’s team to murder The Minister (her Donald Trump) and his backers (The NFFA) in a church named Our Lady of Sorrow, no doubt called this in tribute to Elizabeth Mitchell after her appearance here.
1:15:04 Government troops are going to invade the Safe Zone to kill Bishop, so Leo and the Senator have to go back outside to avoid getting killed themselves. The bad news for Senator Roan is that Leo is in charge of her security once again.
1:16:28 While Roan discusses going back to save the Minister’s life so he doesn’t become a martyr, their ambulance is knocked on its side by a government lorry. Perfect metaphor for National Health Care.
1:17:12 Leo says the militia is taking the now-kidnapped Senator to Our Lady of Perpetual Sorrows to be sacrificed.
1:19:27 At the service, Roan is knocked unconscious with an injection and tied to a dolly beside another victim-to-be, while the congregation chants on the other side of a curtain. I bet they’re praying for no more sequels. I know I am.
1:23:46 Leo reconnoitres with Bishop and tells him it’s no longer an assassination attempt but now a rescue mission. Little does he realise nothing can save this film.
1:23:54 WTF!? Both Laurence (the drug addict who was tied up first and waiting there when he senator arrived – and will certainly die because he didn’t get top billing) and Charlie Roan have gags in their mouths but can’t make noise? A piece of cloth across your lips does not prevent you from opening your mouth or un-clenching your teeth.
1:25:42 The priest, Harman James (Christopher James Baker), kills Laurence. I nearly die as well…from laughter at the overacting.
We must rid ourselves of the negative emotions that she has stirred inside. We must stop her from poisoning our great country by taking away our freedoms.
Minister Edwidge Owens
New game: Who said it, the Purge or Trump?
1:30:22 Just before Caleb can slit Charlie’s throat, Bishop’s team are able to take him out with a sniper. Say what you will about the Purge series, at least they’re utterly predictable.
1:30:56 During the shootout, why is it no one tries to kill senator Roan? I suspect because she’s protected by so much WTF!?
1:35:04 After freeing Senator Roan, Dante Bishop is unable to kill the Minister because the latter begs Dante to Purge, and Dante refuses to abase himself to the Minister’s level. To think some believed the Minister didn’t have a prayer.
1:36:08 The group discover a roomful of homeless people tied up and gagged with duct tape; they were to be the night’s offering in the church. Leo says he’s not as politically correct as the senator and punches Minister Owens in the Easter eggs.
1:37:26 The three remaining militiamen ambush our team in the underground car park and wound Dante. In a last gasp effort, he hot wires an automobile and drives it into two of them before the leader empties all of his bullets into him. He’s deader than the engine.
1:38:48 Leo, shot and wearing only a suit, defeats the head militiaman who’s uninjured and wearing full military protection. And here I thought Leo was bad at his job.
1:40:06 Harman enters the antechamber with the homeless brandishing a shotgun. He shoots one of the dispossessed so we understand how the gun works, then only wounds Marcos. He takes a revolver and takes aim at Senator Roan, but Joe throws himself in front of the senator and takes several bullets for her as he kills Harman. The priest is now holey, but Joe is holier. Good thing as he’s on his way to heaven.
May 26 / 2 months after the annual Purge
1:42:01 Charlie Roan wins the election and we wonder why the New Founding Fathers felt the need to change election day from November to May. Maybe it’s so that I might make “This May suck” jokes.
We’re just now hearing reports about a few, scattered incidents around the country where NFFA supporters are reacting violently to this defeat. They are burning cars, breaking windows, looting, attacking police officers…
News presenter on the telly
Maybe their candidate convinced the simpletons that the election was rigged.
[Song on the way out is David Bowie, “I’m Afraid of Americans”]
Nathan Whitehead’s soundtrack is certainly the best part of the film.
- WTF!?’s: 14 sick ones
- When to Follow: When you feel you have to watch the entire series of Purge films (and, imo, this one is the second worst, after the first one, which is first worst). Or, even better, on U.S. election night (November 8).
- Where’s This Found: The aspect which frustrates me most about this entire franchise is that the premise is brilliant and the marketing is spot on. The Purge has everything going for it, and then they ruin it by making shite films. The acting is over the top (Elizabeth Mitchell’s talents are wasted in this film) and the script is nothing short of ridiculous. There are no sympathetic characters and the directing is so heavy handed I always finish a Purge film feeling abused. Out of a possible 10, I have 4 F’s to give.
- What To Feedback: Let’s build the perfect Purge playlist! What would you listen to while you purge? Please tell me in the comment what song you’d kill for, and I’ll add it to the collaborative playlist below! [N.B. If you’re a Spotify user, you can ‘Follow’ the playlist and then add songs directly.]
Left Over WTF (Way Too Funny) Photos
Left over GIFs
Left over photos
Prints suitable for reposting!
WTF!? did they say?
WTF!? do you meme?
What to Follow Up
Bar None Review
Fernby Films Review
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