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Purge: Election Year, The - Universal Pictures Print E-mail
User Rating: / 2
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Written by Richard Taylor   
Thursday, 07 July 2016

A.K.A.: The Purge 3: Election Year

Directed by: James DeMonaco
Written by: James DeMonaco
Produced by: Michael Bay, Jason Blum, Andrew Form, Brad Fuller, Sebastien Lemercier
Cinematography by: Jacques Jouffret
Editing by: Todd E. Miller
Music by: Nathan Whitehead
Special Effects: Melissa Asci, Thomas Carroll, Christopher Johnson, James Johnson, Diana Roche, John Ruggieri
Cast: Frank Grillo, Elizabeth Mitchell, Mykelti Williamson, Joseph Julian Soria, Betty Gabriel, Terry Serpico, Edwin Hodge, Kyle Secor
Year: 2016
Country: USA
Language: English
Color: Color
Runtime: 1h 45min

Studio: Universal Pictures

Well, there you have it, the third Purge film hits a major theater release for the first time (in Canada anyways) since the other two were straight to DVD/Blu-Ray in these parts. Also take notice itís close to July 4th when it was released and to top it off, oh so very close to the U.S. Presidential election. Coincidence? I think not! I'm not one to talk politics because I know next to nothing about it. I vaguely tune into the news from time to time, but if you haven't noticed, The Purge: Election Year is drenched in the blood of political discussion and social commentary of what is going on in the U.S. right now.

The first Purge movie was decent. The idea of letting citizens in the U.S. go wild for 12 hours, legalizing murder for me was highly disturbing. Where the original lacked was that it wasn't as wide open as the sequels. It was confined to the space of one familyís residence and had less characters to play off of. Still, serving as a very effective entry in the series, the second film The Purge: Anarchy opened everything up and set the viewers eyes on the streets, to witness the carnage of what was going on during The Purge and some innocent and not so innocent people caught up in the blazing inferno. In Election Year, they've gone a step further with the storyline by making it political and they've raised the bar again because in my opinion this is the best one yet, despite what many other critics have deliberated.  

The Purge movies have the ability to disturb and bother me like no other. You can throw at me A Serbian Film, Salo: 120 Days of Sodom, Men Behind the Sun or American Guinea Pig, but this movie has one thing those donít and that is the seething social commentary of a "civilized" America turned into a killing field for 12 consecutive hours. The more disturbing part of this idea is that it doesn't seem that far off to me. I could totally see this happening in the near future. The power of the NRA, the solution to poverty and health care problems, the governmentís solution to many social and economic woes, a depopulation control of the not-so-free world. 

Yes, I get this disturbing feeling deep down in my gut, seeing normal citizens turned into bloodthirsty maniacs, but what gets me is how over-the-top some of the characters are and the costumes they have created to Purge -- they get off on the shit. In This one instance we even get "kill tourists" coming from foreign lands to take part in the Purge because they "love America." Even drones are used to locate, hunt and kill prey. The Purge: Election Year really tends to cover all bases and platforms, much the same as a political campaign. We get people dressed in Uncle Sam costumes and lady liberty masks, people killing their bosses and family members and even young girls killing over the theft of a chocolate bar. The young girls who threatens to loot a store and comes to kill the owners, was the only bee in my bonnet with this film, but thankfully they get dealt with in a timely fashion.

The Purge: Election Year focuses on the female senator, Charlie Roan, played by Elizabeth Mitchell. Roan's family was killed by a psychotic purger years ago and she was the only one spared by the madman. Roan has made it her platform to end The Purge along with an underground group led by Dante Bishop (Edwin Hodge) who is the only actor to appear in all three Purge movies. Frank Grillo returns in his no-nonsense role as Leo Barnes, which he played in the second, but this time he's Roan's private secret service man. Low and behold the founding fathers are pissed at Roan (number one, she's a woman and number two, she's a disobedient one! Toot, toot) and are using The Purge to get rid of her in fear that she wins the election and ends their fun. 

The Purge relies on some great characters and in this one Frank Grillo is no doubt the action hero everyone is rooting for but he is not a relatable character as such. Good ol' Bubba Buford himself, Mykelti Williamson, plays a shop keeper who crosses paths with Grillo and Roan on that fateful night. Mykelti's character, Joe Dixon, is a relatable and very funny character which audiences will be rooting for along with his Mexican employee Marcos, play by Joseph Julian Soria, and a character named Laney Rucker (Betty Gabriel) with a dark past but her heart in the right place. These characters make the movie shine and add in the missing pieces. Dixon has so many great lines that itís hard to keep track like: "Goodnight blue cheese." or "We sitting up in here like a bucket of chicken with some hungry negros outside." No doubt Mykelti plays the token black guy character but does it with such pizzazz that you can't help but find some great humor in it.

The Purge: Election Year is a fanís movie. Is it brilliant? Hell no, but is it entertaining? Hell yes! I enjoyed watching it and laughed out loud in the theater a couple times during it. It delivers enough violence to fill 10 action movie quotas for the year. I definitely recommend it and rank it up there with Green Room as one of the better action/thriller/horror films of 2016. I hope to see more Purge films in the series if they can concoct another great idea to throw into the mix. Letís hope it stays on its continued path. One last thing -- Frank Grillo should have played The Punisher and not Joe Bernthal. Peace out!!!!!

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 RATING:
 MOVIE: 1 
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