Like most "exploitation movies," the "Purge" franchise is deeply moralistic at heart.
The action is largely routine and the dialogue rarely more than functional, but DeMonaco, marshalling the franchise's best production values yet, shrewdly taps into the angry zeitgeist.
The Purge: Election Year represents writer/director James DeMonaco's attempt to squeeze one more movie out of a premise that has run dry.
The writer/director has a lot to say, but this neo-grindhouse framework isn't built for complexity. Still, the film is just bonkers enough to work.
It would be one thing to bait the viewer's blood lust and then punish them for it. But the films command an audience that's enchanted by its displays of blood-drenched yahoos in kooky masks satisfying their barely repressed psychopathy.
Mostly it's more of the same from this stalled series. It's time someone purges "The Purge."
The violence is too tantalizing, too stylized, too fetishistic - the film features killers dressed in fanciful Halloween costumes who dance and sing as they dismember people.
"The Purge: Election Year" takes itself just seriously enough to provide the expected measure of fun - a blend of aggression, release and relief.
The biggest, baddest, berserkest Purge so far.