Violence Level: 10. Profanity Level: 10. Stress Level: 100 – it appears that just about everything has been cranked up a notch for the third instalment of the Purge trilogy. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Sure, we cover the same ground as The Purge (2013) and Anarchy (2014), using stunning visuals of blood-soaked teenagers, and gang-related carnage to demonstrate just how messed up a concept this is. But what’s new are the political connotations that are at the forefront of Election Year. The difficulty here is that, without bringing some politics into the mix, we might have found the concept a little over-stretched. It was fine to depict the same free-for-all slasher movie for the first two films of the trilogy, but only because each film studied different perspectives of Purge Night – one from the middle class perspective, the other from the working class. But that was as far as it went. And judging by Election Year, that’s as far as it should have gone.
The Purge Trilogy has always been a guilty pleasure of complete gratuitous violence prompted by the notion that we would, given the option, revert to murderous psychopaths. By trying to bring in the political element, the film has almost forgotten what it was meant to be – sure, we still have the odd Purger dancing around covered in blood, swinging machetes, but there’s something a little irritating about Mitchell’s pious political lecturing. It’s enough to make you want to purge.
Once again, Election Year leaves you asking question and DeMonaco has always offered a firm and resounding ‘yes’ as an answer. But the saving grace of Election Year has to be the optimism that was lacking from previous films. There’s finally some light at the end of this tunnel.
CAST: Frank Grillo, Elizabeth Mitchell, Mykelti Williamson
DIRECTOR: James DeMonaco
WRITER: James DeMonaco
SYNOPSIS: Years after sparing the man who killed his son, former police sergeant Barnes has become head of security for Senator Charlie Roan, a Presidential candidate targeted for death on Purge night due to her vow to eliminate the Purge.