America's third political party, the New Founding Fathers of America, comes to power and conducts an experiment: no laws for 12 hours on Staten Island. No one has to stay on the island, but $5,000 is given to anyone who does.
It's been two years since Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo) stopped himself from a regrettable act of revenge on Purge Night. Now serving as head of security for Senator Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell), his mission is to protect her in a run for president and survive the annual ritual that targets the poor and innocent. But when a betrayal forces them onto the streets of D.C. on the one night when no help is available, they must stay alive until dawn...or both be sacrificed for their sins against the state.
This is my review of The Purge: Election Year (spoiler free)
Cast: Frank Grillo, Elizabeth Mitchell, Mykelti Williamson
Plot: America, 2025. As public sentiment rises against the Purge, ruling class the New Founding Fathers Of America target Presidential candidate Charlotte Roan (Mitchell), who's lobbying to end the annual lawless mayhem. She'll need the help of Leo Barnes (Grillo) if she's to survive the night.
With his scary vision of a near-future United States where all crime including murder is legal for one night in order to keep the peace for the rest of the rest of the year, writer/director James DeMonaco has crafted a successful, thrifty franchise. As real-world America slides further into electoral madness, the latest Purge feels more apt than ever, even as it ramps up the terrifying politics and the slow-motion violence. Although Election Year comes dangerously close to repeating or even remaking the first follow-up 2014's The Purge: Anarchy we're once again out on the streets close to the action but this time in Washington DC, (weirdly filmed in Providence, Rhode Island) as opposed to Los Angeles, though at this it could really be 'Anycity, USA' as our heroes try to find safety. Barnes, Grillo's reliably relatable tough guy, must this time shepherd Mitchell's determined Roan through the madness to keep her political chances – and, more importantly, her – alive. The added wrinkle here is that the rule protecting governmental people has been relaxed, and the New Founding Fathers have not only paid off a chunk of her security detail, they've also sent a mercenary to take her out, because they enforce a new rule that will now make government officials of ranking ten vulnerable for the night, so now the New Founding Fathers will kill everybody who is involved.
Set two years after the merciless killings in The Purge: Anarchy (2014) Leo Barnes (Grillo) who is now head of security for Senator Charlie, he and his employer has to survive as they put it "one last purge." This film takes you right into the action something that the first one failed to do now The Purge: Anarchy was actually better than the first although this despite all its craziness and its terrible scripting it is a very entertaining end to the trilogy, although not what you might have thought it was because writer/director James DeMonaco keeps the same style as he did in the previous it unfortunately fails to deliver one thing and that is an actual story, it just continues as a psycho killer film and all though it has pretty good action and good acting from Frank Grillo and Mitchell and fortunately down have to go down the romance route – no time for love when you're on the run from a skull-emblazoned drone., it fails to deliver in everything else. It also decides to add not only torture which has a bad impact on the film but also adds a schlocky alternative to Trump vs Clinton not exactly a great way of putting it, but you get the idea.
Good things about the film it adds a creepy song which is what many good horrors like Nightmare on Elm Street tend to do, but instead of "Freddy is coming for you" it adds a new spin and is put 'we are gonna purge tonight', in a very creepy tone which gives it a dark and edgy feel to the film. It's much more suspenseful because with the first one it had suspense but didn't do anything else besides that and the second one had plenty of suspense and action of course but lacked the craziness that this one has and although some killers come out dressed as previous American Presidents it does get more than that, but that is the start and the middle of the crazy. Weirdly enough in the first two government officials ranking above ten weren't affected during the Purge night, but now in this one everyone is affected but that's basically nobody wants Charlie Roan as the President so the killers try to make a killing to get rid of her, but don't quite succeed.
Amongst the anguish and pain it decides to take a religious turn but instead of praying it makes it turn out that the people who don't kill are sinners as the film puts it, and although that idea is original it really wasn't needed in a film that was already cold hearted but this adds even more cold heartedness. We should really forgive this series for taking pride in creepy masks and world class warfare. This one is very problematic and simplistic but keeps the idea alive and although it may not be the best in a series that takes pride in senseless killing, it's still an enjoyable addition to the trilogy and a pretty good ending. This final film adds a killing end to the surprisingly successful B-movie franchise and maintains to keep the thrills and the entertainment just as well as the previous two.
VERDICT: Election Year maintains the nervy tension that made the first film entertaining, but doubles down on the political metaphors, overwhelming you with its soap-box rhetoric.
6/10 an enjoyable conclusion
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