The Purge: Election Year (2016)

Written by: James DeMonaco
Directed by: James DeMonaco
Starring: Frank Grillo, Elizabeth Mitchell, Mykelti Williamson, Joseph Julian Soria, Betty Gabriel, Earl Danzinger, Kyle Secor, and Edwin Hodge
Two years after the events of The Purge: Anarchy, Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo) is now head of security for Senator Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell), as she campaigns to be the next president of the United States. Having survived a Purge night as a teen, and knowing first hand of it’s horror, Senator Roan is running on the promise that if she gets elected president, she will put an end to the purge once and for all. And her voice is being heard, her message resonating with many would be voters, she’s gaining momentum and support on the daily. Her becoming the next president of the United States and changing the status quo looks like it could potentially be a reality. This does not sit well with the N.F.F.A., The New Founding Fathers of America, those that took over the government and created the annual purge, as a way to control both crime and population through murder.
the_purge-_election_year_screen_shot-_h_2016As the years passed it became clear to many that purge night was a means for the wealthy to turn a profit by turning bloodshed into bucks at the expense of the poor and innocent. So with the threat looming of Senator Roan possibly becoming the next president, beating her rival, the N.F.F.A. backed Minister Edwidge Owens (Kyle Secor), and ending purge night for good. the question becomes, how can the N.F.F.A. make sure that doesn’t happen? One rule that had been established since the inception of the Purge was that all government officials of ranking 10 were granted immunity from the Purge, and could not be harmed. Well, two days before Purge night is to begin, and after a brief meeting with the current president and his fellow N.F.F.A. members, a solution to the Senator Roan problem is reached. And on Purge night, with only a few minutes until it’s to commence, and with Senator Roan working late in her office, Leo Barnes by her side, the customary Emergency Broadcast Warning comes on and says “Yeah, you know that whole government officials being granted immunity from the Purge, thus free from harm thing? Fuck that. We’re not doing that this year.”
Okay, so maybe that’s not exactly how it’s stated, but you get the gist. Needles to say, this comes as a big shock to Senator Roan. As for Leo Barnes, the realization of what the announcement means for the protection and safety of the Senator, all but assures him it’s going to be a very long and interesting night, to say the least.
As the third entry in the series The Purge: Election Year manages to keep things fresh. The concept of an election year and a candidate hoping to put an end to the most deadly night of the year, and taking the powers that be that created it out of power for good, is quite refreshing. And takes the whole idea to a whole other level, as that would be savior for many becomes the prime target for those whose power and position is being threatened. And with the whole night ahead of them, pull no punches in trying to take her out of the political picture.
Another concept that I found rather intriguing was that of murder tourism. That is, in the world of the Purge, being an American event, people from around the globe travel to the states to participate in the slaughter of their fellow men and women. To release some stress from their lives through acts of violence where it’s perfectly legal for one night. This idea may be the most grotesque and disturbing of all, being that as a viewer you could totally imagine such a thing would really attract madness from around the globe if a thing like the Purge really did exist.
purge-election-yearLike with The Purge: Anarchy, we are introduced to other characters just trying to survive on the most deadly of nights. Mykelti Williams stars as Joe Dixon, store owner hoping to keep his delicatessen from burning to the ground on Purge night, reminiscent of the Los Angeles riots back in the day. He along with his coworker Marcos (played by Joseph Julian Soria) stay up all night armed on the rooftop in case shit decides to pop off. Earlier in the day two young schoolgirls try to steal some candy, get busted, and all but promise that Joe hasn’t seen the last of them. Soon a candy bar becomes the catalyst for a showdown at the shop.
The-Purge-Election-Year-TrailerThe two lead stars, Grillo and Mitchell, are great together. Elizabeth Mitchell as the Senator hoping to make a difference is a sympathetic character and you hope by the end of the movie she survives, even if it means no more Purge movies. That’s how good she is in her role. If I had one gripe, it would be to know a little more of Roan’s backstory. She’s a survivor from a Purge night many years back, but it’s never fully given the attention I think it should have been given. To now more of what this woman went through, and what drives her so much. But, that being said, what we know of Roan and how she conducts herself is enough to know she is a genuine good person who wants a better future.
Frank Grillo kicks major ass and is a bonafide action star. Reprising his role as Leo Barnes, Grillo brings a seriousness, take no shit attitude, one that’s needed in the world of the Purge to combat would be assassins at every turn.
untitledLike in the previous entries, there is plenty of action and suspenseful moments in Election Year to go along with the horrific violence. One thing that I must give massive props to is the visual style these Purge movies treat the viewers to. And this movie is no different. The choice of slow motion creepy visuals, from the blood dredged Purge sign on the pillars of the Lincoln memorial, to the lighting on the guillotine execution, the Freakbride and her crew rolling up to the shop in their lit up car, sporting some awesome masks, costumes, and the “Are you really going out wearing that young lady?” attire. Election Year gives you visual style, a treat for the eyes. A mix of blood and beauty.
The Purge: Election Year is for those who loved the previous films. By this time anyone who is a fan knows what these movies are all about. This is a fun, leave your problems at the door and watch these people get all kinds of messed up, popcorn movie. Loaded with action, awesome visuals, and a story that keeps you enthralled.
Can Leo Barnes keep Senator Roan alive during the most deadly night of the year? Do the powers that be of the ruling N.F.F.A. prevail in their efforts to eliminate the Senator? Does the demented schoolgirl get her candy bar? The answers to these questions and others will all be revealed if you so choose to get your Purge on. Check it out and hold on tight.

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