The Purge: Election Year
This is a diabolically clever film masquerading as a horror movie.
The Purge: Election Year is one of those very violent movies that still should be seen. It serves as a powerful political action movie that will likely leave you shockingly mesmerized.
As most of you know, The Purge is a government approved yearly event where for one day in March, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., you can commit any crime and not be arrested or prosecuted. Created by a group calling themselves the New Founding Fathers, they wrap themselves up in patriotic and religious symbolism to justify murder as a way of solving our nation’s domestic problems.
Senator Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell) is campaigning for President on a platform to repeal The Purge. Running an unexpectedly strong campaign, she becomes a target of forces designed to eliminate her when Purge Day arrives.
Frank Grillo does a great job reappearing as Leo Barnes, a guy who now leads the senator’s security detail. Despite massive protection for the Senator, things go horribly wrong on Purge Night. The film follows the Senator and her aide being forced to hit the dangerous streets to try to keep her from being offered up as a sacrificial lamb.
The film is immensely helped by a band of black actors who try to help the senator. They are observant, profane and at times very funny, and it is worth remembering the names of Mykelti Williamson, Edwin Hodge, Liza Colin-Zayas as well as the talented Hispanic actor Joseph Julian Soria. In particular, watch for Brittany Mirabile and Juani Feliz who play two nasty school girls hellbent on destruction.
What you see going on in The Purge during a presidential election year reflects many of the same problems confronting our country today. Politicians like Donald Trump play on little more than fear centering on immigration, the national debt, welfare costs and Obamacare. They continually try to undercut Medicare while seeking to raise the age for Social Security eligibility.
Purge defines a way of solving all of the above problems, namely by simply eliminating the poor, the homeless and the needy. Sure, murder is rationalized, but wouldn’t that be an acceptable patriotic price to pay to help reduce our national debt?
Despite the fact that we seek to prosecute those who commit violent crimes like murder, is life in the good ole USA much different than that seen in The Purge: Election Year? As I dictate this review, headlines in the Indianapolis Star pointed out that close to 60 Indianapolis residents have been gunned down in 2016. Furthermore, the NRA and gun manufacturers seek to continue to make millions while trying to convince American citizens that fear of personal safety necessitates owning multiple firearms.
Ignoring the fact that more Americans have been shot to death since 1970 than the total who have died in every one of our wars since the American Revolution, they use murder and mayhem at the end of a barrel as a reason to spread this poisonous fear throughout our land. And if you think that guns have not changed American history, then consider the deaths of Abraham Lincoln in 1865, JFK in 1963 and RFK in 1968. The Purge may not be legal in our country, but we have quietly allowed the elimination of fellow citizens while hiding behind the Second Amendment.
If we are going to bring our version of The Purge to an end, then we need to deal with guns in the same way that we do automobiles. Just require anyone who possesses a gun to get a title, a license and insurance. That is totally consistent with the Second Amendment, and it’s time that we take our heads out of the sand and once again give meaning to our Declaration of Independence’s guarantee of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” for all citizens.
In the end, The Purge: Election Year made me wonder about the future of our country, particularly if Donald Trump is elected President. Building walls and preaching hatred and fear concerning Hispanics and Muslims can only serve to increase violence across the land. Some of the killers participating in the massive slaughter in this film wore Ku Klux Klan sheets over their heads while adorning their shoulders with the Confederate flag. Do we want to risk allowing those vampires to rise from the grave in the real world?