On The Big Screen Reviews

The Purge: Election Year – Review

by Billy Sales and Sarah Cook

The Purge series has been one of the most popular horror franchises and yet the most perplexing. People keep flocking to the cinemas to watch this film series where all crime becomes legal for 24 hours because that is a phenomenally interesting premise. Calling into question our own morals when societal laws are removed, The Purge had high expectations yet failed to deliver. Instead, it packaged a somewhat dull affair that frittered away its theology and semantics.

The follow-up, The Purge: Anarchy, was a slightly better sequel. Taking the action to the streets with Civil War’s Frank Grillo, the second movie added layers of emotional depth, a character we can root for, and a gritty atmosphere to succeed where the original failed. Yet it still lacked the intelligent clout that the premise needed to be all-round excellent movie.

So the third episode continues but can it succeed where the others have failed?

Image result for The Purge Election Year
The Purge: Election Year
 (can’t say it isn’t topical) is supposedly the most terrifying chapter yet. The film revolves around Senator Charlie Roan who is trying desperately to get rid of The Purge and all it stands for, claiming that the New Founding Fathers are using it to help their economic agenda. On the eve of the Purge, Charlie and her body guard Leo Miles (from Anarchy) find out that they plan to use the night to bump her off and it becomes a terrifying race against time to save the Senator as well as the future of America.

The Purge: Election Year is a fresh breath of life into the series that leans towards a dark adventure. Whilst still keeping the frivolous action and a lot of the fun, the movie explores a deeper meaning to the titular murderous rampage. There are certain moment within the film that seemed overly cliched and gimmicky, which spoils the otherwise tense mood that is crafted here. Still, overall, the bloody debacle romps on in an enjoyable way and twist in an unpredictable manner.  On the edge of your seat, you’ll be absorbed to the thrills once more as Leo frolics across the streets of Washington, attempting to save the free world. With the turns coursing throughout your veins, you’ll be kept invested in Roan and Miles journey.

Image result for The Purge Election Year
Speaking of Roan and Miles, the actors who play them – Elizabeth Mitchell and Frank Grillo respectively – are great to watch. You’ll will urge them to survive, you’ll want to defeat the bad guys, and you’ll race alongside them in this titillating adventure. The chemistry between the pair is on-point and it’s wonderful to watch. Not every actor is as brilliant as the leading two and a lot of the stories’ tangents misstep. Luckily, the awful notes are wiped out before they sour the overall product too much.

The Purge: Election Year, as previously mentioned, keeps it topical. Especially because America is heading for it’s very own dystopian future of their own. You know, if they vote for an orange tanned chimp in a tribble wig.  There are clear parallels here to the current elections taking place in the good ol’ US of A and it’s not a far stretch to say that Election Year is a foreshadowing of a post Trump-ian future (which, please, let’s not have that term appear in the history books. Thank you.)

Perhaps the best in the series, Election Year may take a couple of wobbly steps but appeases with dark action, realistic parallels. and sheer entertainment.


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