Tony's Take

THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR review

The Purge Election Year posterPurge and Purify for a Better America

“The Purge: Election Year” opens as a family is being brutally tortured and murdered on Purge night.  Flash-forward 17 years, the lone surviving family member, Sen. Charlie Roan, has done everything she can to end the Purge; as she is running for President and her first order of business would be to abolish the abomination they call “Purge Night”.  It’s been two years since “The Purge: Anarchy” and Leo Barnes is now the Head of her Security team.  As “Purge Night” rolls-around, she intends to keep-up her image and wait out the night at her home.  “All Crime is Now Legal for 12 Continuous Hours.  Blessed be our New Founding Fathers.”  However, the NFFA sense Sen. Roan’s impending election win and they orchestrate a betrayal which forces Leo and the Senator on the streets during this dangerous night.  Fortunately they end-up with a similar group just hoping for survival, but the events happening around them force them to leave and find shelter; all while hiding from the Mercenaries the NFFA have sent to assassinate Sen. Roan.  Can Leo and Senator Roan survive “Purge Night” and effectively-end the vile and murderous night?  You’ll have to see the film to find out!

Elizabeth Mitchell plays Senator Charlene “Charlie” Roan, a woman who lost her family from “Purge Night” and is running for Minister so she can abolish the night.  Frank Grillo reprises his role of Leo Barnes, who is now the Head of Security for Sen. Roan.  Mykelti Williamson plays a shop/deli owner named Joe Dixon.  Joseph Julian Soria plays a young worker and friend of Joe’s, Marcos.  Betty Gabriel plays Laney Rucker.  Terry Serpico plays a Mercenary hired by the NFFA to assassinate Sen. Roan, Earl Danzinger.  Edwin Hodge plays an NFFA-antagonist named Dante Bishop.  Kyle Secor plays the current Minister and Sen. Roan’s opponent, Minister Edwidge Owens.  Ethan Phillips plays Sen. Roan’s Chief of Staff, Chief Couper.  Brittany Mirabile and Juani Feliz play a pair of schoolgirls out for revenge on “Purge Night”.

“The Purge: Election Year” marks the third chapter in the franchise, which is probably its most imaginative and mayhem-filled offering yet!  As I’ve said from the beginning, “The Purge” is a frightening but thought-provoking idea that chills you to the bone.  That being said, a storyline is needed to “drive” the film and “The Purge: Election Year” has its best one yet.  I loved the political aspect of the film, showing two competing idealists, one with the New Founding Fathers of America and one against them.  While completely unrelated to our society, you could sense and feel the cultural undertones comparing to our society (albeit without the night of brutal crime).  This film also had the most diverse and visually-appealing “Purgers”, with some of my favorites being the schoolgirls and Uncle Sam and his gang.  I also enjoyed the expanded World of “The Purge”, which showcased people from all-around the World coming to America to participate and purge.  The film’s story and build-up lead you to hope for the best “Purge” yet, but a bullet-ridden, over-the-top carnage-littered and predictable second half ultimately is a sad reminder of what could have been.  They abandoned the political aspect that gave a breath-of-fresh-air to the series and just littered the streets with bodies and blood.  While “The Purge: Election Year” succeeds in entertaining you for its entirety, but it falls-short of being the best of the franchise.  “The Purge: Election Year” has a run time of 105 minutes and the murderous rampage never drags-on (though does become a bit repetitive).  “The Purge: Election Year” could have been so much more than just another sequel, but fans of the franchise will still find plenty of entertainment and satisfaction!

“The Purge: Election Year” follows the annual Purge but with a twist; a Ministerial Election is underway and one hopes to end the annual Purge.  The film features plenty of mayhem, murder, and carnage, as well as an interesting story arc that will keep you entertained, if only at the surface.  If you are heading to the movies this weekend and are in the mood for some terror or you’re a fan of the franchise, go see “The Purge: Election Year”!!

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THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR is rated R for disturbing bloody violence and strong language, in theaters July 1!

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