With this being an election year, we are flooded with posts and news regarding who will become our next president. How risky to make a film regarding presidential elections considering this is our most controversial election in U.S. History. Even though it’s set in an alternate universe, does The Purge: Election Year make us question what is to become of us, or is it just a third installment to a film that fell as flat Rick Perry’s campaign? Don’t know who that is? Exactly my point.
Written and directed by James DeMonaco, The Purge: Election Year opened July 1st, 2016 grossing 31.4 million opening weekend. That puts it smack dab in the middle of the first two installments: the first Purge grossing $34 million and Purge: Anarchy grossing a modest $29 million. Critics are giving it mixed reviews and fans are calling it the best out of the three.
The Purge: Election Year starts with senator Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell). She is running for President, vowing to return ” America’s Soul” and get rid of the purge once and for all. The founding fathers of the annual purge are not happy with how close the gap is to her becoming the next President. Although her head of security (Frank Grillo) is taking on the role of Leo Barnes from The Purge: Anarchy once more, he advises her to get out of the city. He worries that on the night of the annual purge she will be a target. Obviously, she’s hesitant and wants to remain humble and stay at home like everyone else; otherwise, she could lose the respect of potential voters.
It comes to no surprise that she is an actual target. With the founding fathers having men on the inside, it’s not long before her and Leo are on the outside. Trying to keep the senator safe, they run into the craziest set of “purgers” yet.
The best part of this movie are the main plot and characters. The plot even more so: with everything going on in the real world, it turns out surreal and intense. It did have semi-interesting side characters that don’t take part in the purge who are trying to survive, but they just seemed to be background noise and only there when necessary. It was Mitchell who played her part masterfully. I myself at times questioned: is she too good to be true? That’s something you’ll have to figure out yourself.
For me, the most enjoyable parts of this movie were the villains, aka the Purgers! I wanted to know more about them. Why do they feel the need to be so sadistic? Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. I wanted to know more about their story lines, especially Freakbride (Brittany Mirabile). You wouldn’t believe what she was willing to kill for. Also, you get to know a little bit more about the founding fathers and what lengths they are going to go to keep the purge intact.
With this trilogy, I feel that each film is vital to the franchise. The original Purge showed us what it’s like to be a targeted family stuck in your own home with only what you have inside for survival. Purge: Anarchy takes us out onto the streets to see what happens on the outside. With The Purge: Election Year you get more back story to why all of this is actually happening. Also, the questions: can and should the purge be stopped?
If they were to do another movie, in my opinion, I think it would be cool to just see it from the “purgers” standpoint. Why? Well, we’ve seen it from the victims perspectives in three films already. Not sure how it would exactly work but that’s what I would like. Regardless, these movies are fun and bloody. If you are on the fence on watching them I would suggest to quickly purge on all three!