It hits really close to home, which of course is the plan.
I hesitate to link Rolling Stone, but compared to the MSM newspaper reviews, it's more accurate:
Despite the left-leaning ideology embedded into the series' DNA, it's still a bit of a political Rorschach test: You can look at [Joseph Julian] Soria's [hard-working Mexican immigrant] hero as an example of pro-immigration tendencies, and see the roving packs of Euro "murder tourists" as pandering to the xenophobic crowd ("Foreigners coming to our country," intones a news reporter, "to kill!"). And for all of its protagonists' anti-Purge liberalism, the story sure gives a lot of ammo to the pro-Second Amendment, "the only way to handle a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with gun" crowd.It's indeed leftist in its DNA, but there's a vector of ideological story lines, overlapping with more crystallized good vs. bad trajectories, and I found myself working out the real-life possibilities raised by the film. Most realistic "it could happen here" is the street-level race-war the propels most of the purging violence that's the background to the election year ideological story. You have good and bad minority antagonists, and one of the best scenes of the criminal urban purging is when Laney (the triage ambulance driver) blows away the entitled black-bitch thug with a shotgun blast to the face. That was gloriously freakin' satisfying!
Rather, the film's real currency is simply a nonpartisan free-floating us-vs-them anger, in which a put-upon underclass finally gets payback and a one-percenter upper class finally gets its comeuppance. You can be a pissed-off Tea Partier or an Occupy advocate and find something here to stoke your fat cat hatred; either way, catharsis is doled out not in a dusk-til-dawn homicidal free-for all but two harmless hours in a theater. Election Year's only real stance — besides be sure to vote in November — is that America is violence. God bless the U.S.A. God save us all...
That said, I was disappointed in the overly simplistic Nazification of the horrible, terrible no-good right-wingers (and their idiotic paint-by-the numbers neo-Nazi mercenary militiamen). For a moment I thought we'd have some real, truthful moral equivalence, when the far-left urban army is about to assassinate the right-wing presidential candidate backed by the NFFA (the New Founding Fathers of America). But since that story line gets cut short, the movie reverts back to the default good vs. evil leftists memes, with Roan, the leftist presidential candidate, affecting a Jesus-like "don't do it or we'll be no better than they are" routine.
You get the picture without me giving away too much more of the story. No matter what, it's a fun flick. Someone should do a remake with the ideological bad guy roles reversed, just to piss off the cultural intelligentsia of the mainstream media juggernaut.