With the US presidential elections months away, it’s easy to make comparisons between The Purge: Election Year’s characters and the real-world candidates, but rather than dig deeper into this dark connection, the film instead goes for the action-speaks-louder-than-words approach.
Senator Charlie Roan, having survived the annual purge years ago, is determined to bring an end to the yearly bloodbath despite fierce opposition from her political opponent. As the purge commences once again, she finds herself trapped on the streets of Washington DC. It’s up to her head of security to keep her alive for the next 12 hours.
The film is well paced and the plot is nicely developed, that is until the titular ‘purge’ commences, and things begin to go off the rails.
A drawn out running time doesn’t help matters and the action set pieces seem lazy. Its run-shoot-run-shoot style becomes repetitive, and whilst the performances are solid; the film’s poor structure makes them feel expendable.
Gun control is a huge issue in the US right now, and had there been more social commentary, The Purge: Election Year could have been more than just another lazy shoot-em-up thriller.