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The Purge: Election Year is the third entry in The Purge franchise. The films build on the concept that there is one day a year where all crime is legal, including murder. The second entry, The Purge: Anarchy, introduces the now titular character of Leo Barnes (perfectly cast Frank Grillo) and we get to witness him save lives while simultaneously ending several in the process. Although this is the third movie in the franchise, The Purge: Election Year serves as a direct sequel to 2014’s ultimate guilty pleasure, The Purge: Anarchy.
Senator Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell) is a United States senator running for President, who is making it her mission to end The Purge. Leo has taken a job as her head of security. Not surprisingly, the night of The Purge she is targeted for assassination from the very group she is trying to take down, and it is Barnes’ job to keep her alive. There is an unnecessary subplot involving a deli owner named Joe (Mykelti Williamson) and his crew who get involved with protecting Senator Barnes, but end up getting into more than they bargained for.
The Purge: Election Year has a lot of problems. The supporting characters range from kind of annoying to really annoying. Some of the acting is downright bad. And some of the plot points are straight up laughable. For example, there is a young school girl character who is listed on IMDB as schoolgirl #1/freakbride who wants to come to kill Joe after he catches her shoplifting. Her character is so uncomfortably over sexual and awkwardly overacted, it almost took me out of the movie. My guess is the audience is supposed to really want her to die, but I spent a lot of time being confused and slightly grossed out. Another terribly written plot point is when Joe ends up becoming involved in The Purge when he gets a call that his Purge insurance has been raised thousands of dollars on the day before The Purge. Purge insurance? The writer could not come up with anything just a tad more creative than that?
Election Year is definitely not a great movie, but it is a thoroughly entertaining one. There are no words minced, the lines are simple and to the point, any subplot that gets annoying is ended quickly, and there is no shortage of the boy count. There is a lot of violence and it is quick and bloody. Its also a fairly short movie at about an hour and forty three minutes, so even if this is torture for you, it does not last that long.
The two best things by far in this movie are its two leads Frank Grillo and Elizabeth Mitchell. True, they are the only characters given any kind of development in this movie, but they are also good actors. My biggest complaint is that I wish the movie focused solely on them instead of adding those supporting characters.
The Purge: Election Year is really entertaining, even the annoying parts are at the very least a little entertaining. If you would rather have fun watching a bad movie, than be kind of bored while watching a well-reviewed one. This is right up your alley.