Two years after choosing not to kill the man who killed his son, former police sergeant Leo Barnes has become head of security for Senator Charlene Roan, the front runner in the next Presidential election due to her vow to eliminate the Purge. On the night of what should be the final Purge, a betrayal from within the government forces Barnes and Roan out onto the street where they must fight to survive the night.
The Purge: Election Year ditches its political roots early on to slowly band together a group of survivors teaming up for various different reasons, but mainly to protect Hillary Clinton… I mean Sen. Charlie. Aside from the poor acting throughout the film from almost everyone involved (Frank Grillo is still a badass though, finding himself in a sort of Olympus Has Fallen bodyguard situation this time around), it is kind of hard to even care about this senator. There’s also that pessimistic feeling that even given her back-story, nothing will come of anything should she get elected, because seriously, when the hell have politicians ever made good on their promises? Then again, this is a production from Hollywood.
Terrible characters aside, there is plenty of action and violence to be found in the proceedings, and some added world building to what this annual night of death is actually like. There are medics patrolling the streets, resistance bunkers, rogue fighters helping out civilians in peril, and more. Some will prefer the original film’s central focus on one family fending for their lives to survive until morning, but that doesn’t really allow for the concept of the event to be fully realized, so I do prefer that this third movie follows in the path of its sequel, expanding on these little details. What has gotten old however, are lingering shots of mentally disturbed people in freaky masks and Halloween costumes toting guns. It’s not scary anymore… at all, just humorously over the top.