When you think of the Fourth of July weekend, what comes to mind? Flags, BBQ’s, swimming, fireworks, purging…wait, purging? That’s right, Blumhouse Productions and Platinum Dunes released the third installment in “The Purge” franchise, The Purge: Election Year, on July 1, 2016. Director, James DeMonaco, along with actors Frank Grillo and Edwin Hodge return to bring us more purging chaos.
The Purge: Election Year begins in 2010 during the seventh annual purge, audiences are introduced to Charlie Roan (Christy Coco), as she witnesses the execution of her parents and brother. Fast forward eighteen years later, Senator Charlie Roan is running for President of the United States, with her main goal being to end The Purge. The NFFA (The New Founding Fathers of America) want to remain in power and to keep the annual purge afloat. They task Minister Edwidge Owens with defeating her. The election is close and the NFFA want to take out Senator Roan during the upcoming annual purge. They waive the rule elected officials being untouchable during the purge, which makes Senator Roan an open target. Meanwhile, we are introduced to other characters, including Joe (Mykelti Williamson), a grocery store owner, his assistant Martinez, and EMT Laney.
Leo Barnes ( Frank Grillo), back from the events of The Purge: Anarchy, is now the Head of Security for Senator Roan. His main goal is to protect at her from getting killed.The purge begins and Leo has to save Roan from getting attacked from Paramilitary soldiers that were sent to take her out. Leo and Roan come across Joe, Martinez and Laney, and they end up meeting with the anti-purge resistance, led by Bishop (Edwin Hodge). The anti-purge resistance does battle with the paramilitary troops and the NFFA, and attempt to end the purge….
I really enjoyed watching The Purge: Election Year. It’s not an academy award winning movie by all means, but to take a gruesome idea, such as the purge, and make it intriguing enough for audiences to watch, writer/director James DeMonaco, does a great job. I feel that having the same writer/director for all three films, creates a smooth storyline and familiar look to the series. The characters themselves (Leo, Senator Roan, Bishop, Joe, Martinez, Laney, etc.) work together to tell a great story of good versus evil, the anti-purge resistance versus the NFFA. I also liked how the character of Bishop, has a more important role during the progression of each film. Known as “The Stranger” in The Purge, surviving the attack by “purgers”, then emerging as one of the leading anti-purge resistance fighters, known as Bishop. And Frank Grillo does an excellent job as Leo Barnes, as a revenge-filled Sergeant in The Purge: Anarchy. Moving on as the Head of Security for Senator Roan in The Purge: Election Year, Grillo’s character keeps the action flowing.
The way that The Purge: Election Year ended, I think that it’s a great closure to the series. If the studio was to bring forth another sequel, I’m not sure where they can go from here. But, if you’re a fan of the first two films in the series, then you will not be disappointed by The Purge: Election Year.
Phillip is a life-long horror movie fan and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in film. Check out Phillip's YouTube channel here.