Elizabeth Mitchell was awesome in LOST as Juliet. Her relationship with Sawyer was one of the highlights of the last few years of the series. I will always love her as an actress, even when she is in terrible movies like The Purge: Election Year.
To be fair, Elizabeth Mitchell is easily the best part of this film. She and Frank Grillo (the dearly departed Crossbones from Captain America: Civil War) really hold together this film, but there are so many other issues here that even two extremely likable figures such as these two can save it.
The Purge: Election Year is the third movie in the Purge series, focusing upon the upcoming race for President of the United States (which, by the way, happens in May, according to the movie. The sequence at the end with the election coverage really was weird.) Elizabeth Mitchell’s character Senator Charlie Roan was a survivor of a horrible Purge incident when she was a child which framed her into the person she was now… a crusader against the Purge. She is running on the platform of repealing the Purge.
This, of course, puts the Purge supporters into a tizzy, and they plan on sending some Neo-Nazi bad guys to grab the Senator and kill her on Purge night. Frank Grillo reprises his role of Leo Barnes (at least I think he reprises the role, as he was only ever called “Sergeant” in The Purge: Anarchy), who is the head of Senator Roen’s security detail.
We also meet Joe Dixon (Mykelti Williamson), a local deli owner, whose shop lost its Purge insurance the day before the Purge commences and he decided that he had to protect his property. There were several other characters in Joe’s orbit, but none of them are worth the time to talk about. Joe was okay, but he felt like a catch-all character. When they needed a funny line about white people, he spit it out. When he needed to be a former gang member (which isn’t stereotypical at all…sarcasm), he was breaking out the gang whistle.
That is, of course, except for the worst of the worst: Candy Bar Girl. This girl who tried to steal a candy bar from the store, was downright hilarious. I know that wasn’t what they were going for here, but everything about this woman was laughable. It was an insult to amateur actors to call this acting amateurish. Watching her eyes bulged out, covered in blood, Candy Bar Girl showed everything that was wrong with this movie in just a few scenes.
The dialogue of the film was horrendous. Outside of Senator Roen and Leo (and maybe Joe), there is not one developed character. I was pretty surprised that the members of the NFFA (the organization that was in power and brought the Purge to America) didn’t twirl their villain mustaches like the villains of old. These villains were nothing more than people to be evil and to say “Purge and Purify.” There was not one shred of character development from any villain, including Senator Roen’s presidential opponent, Minister Edwidge Owens (Kyle Secor).
There really wasn’t any horror here. As I said, I found myself laughing quite a bit. There was no tension. Even when Leo had to pull a bullet from his own shoulder, there was little tension (and the bullet from the shoulder was done 100 times better by Sawyer on LOST- pre-Juliet days. Bringing the review back to LOST.) This would be a perfect film for the RiffTrax gang to riff.
None of the action stood out in my mind. Sitting here, I cannot think of one exciting scene of action that took place in The Purge: Election Year. The only things that I remember are the over-the-top cartoon aspects of the movie. And that might be okay if the film doesn’t try to take itself so seriously. However, this is not a spoof or a parody. It is intended as an action film with horror aspects. And it failed in that.
Hopefully, we can all purge from this series of films from now on.