Directed and written by:James DeMonaco
Stars: Frank Grillo, Elizabeth Mitchell, Mykelti Williamson
First off, bear with me I’ve haven’t done a review in a hot minute so let me clear the cobwebs from the old noggin’ and dive right into this. I have to admit to being a fan of this franchise from the very first head bashing moment. However, in my opinion The Purge: Election Year is not the potential swan song I can sign off. This was not that great, it has some good moments. But, Election Year sort of underachieves.
Instead of centering on a group of people and their need to stay alive during the 12 hours of the annual purge, we find ourselves caught in an old school game of cat and mouse. In this case the mouse is a man of the people presidential nominee played by Elizabeth Mitchell. I know right? I’m so used to that chick being the bad guy, I kept waiting on home girl to do something I could side eye. But that moment never came, her character is a genuine do gooder intent of ending the sadistic purge practice. The New Founding Fathers are not into to that idea and send a team of neo-Nazi skinhead mercenaries to make sure the good senator is a memory and not POTUS. But the Fathers did not count on Leo (from the previous Anarchy film) being in charge of her security detail. And, Leo (Frank Grillo) as you might remember is capable as hell.
We also meet, Joe (Mykelti Williamson), local deli owner and comic relief. Can you say lovable old scamp? Because that’s what he is a lovable old scamp. Joe is told literally the day before the purge his purge insurance rate has been raised to a price he cannot afford. Joe decides to take matters into his own hands and protect his deli himself. Joe being the lovable scamp that he is of course has a mini squad. The squad of two is made of equally lovable stock-boy Marcos(Joseph Julian Soria) and former yet lovable badass Laney (Betty Gabriel) I have to admit these three are my #squadgoals for the year. Not that I want to run for my life with them, but I might help you finish off a bottle of Port and bitch about a guy that wrongs me.
As the night goes on only one crew makes a play for Joe’s. Man what a crew- a group of teenage girls. No seriously, these girls took Tank Girl too seriously. They are armed with chainsaws and the most stylish assault weapons evaa! The unhinged Afro puffed leader wants to kill Joe so she can have a candy bar. #hangry Honestly, they weren’t too menacing just a bit disturbing because I get the feeling the writer wanted to see teenage girls wear a tulle skirt and swear a lot whilst toting a machine gun. (I see you.) But, nonetheless, Leo, Senator, and the Lovable Scamp crew collide. They join forces to get the good Senator to safety for Election Day.
So without spoiling the movie, I will say the good guys almost win, but not without consequences of course. As always with these Purge films, The Purge: Election Year has an underneath message. In this election year that is a cavalcade of crazy like I have never seen before, this movie unfortunately isn’t as far-fetched as it once was. We are 7 months into the year, and there has been more than few mass shootings, including the one in Orlando. Congress is continuing to sit on their asses and pretend to be saddened by the loss of human life, while failing to be able to put in place a ban on assault weapons that we once had. So how far off is it that an actual Purge night could happen? Members of the NRA just got a hard on at the thought. *steps off soap box
As stated above The Purge: Election Year is clearly the final chapter. I have to admit, as lovable as Joe and his squad are, as well intent as Elizabeth is, I found myself bored at the predictability of the story. It was interesting to get a bit of background on the Founding Fathers, but the movie didn’t play as horrifying as its previous incarnations. There were some kills, but overall it was an interesting exercise in meh.
If you are in need of escaping the soul crushing heat of summer and need an activity, then I say of The Purge: Election Year it’s a – See It!