The Purge: Election Year (2016)

purge election year poster 2016 movie
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 6/10

Explores the politics of the Purge, timely

Still not as good as it potentially could be

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Purge:  Election Year

Studio:  Platinum Dunes

Genre(s):  Horror/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  July 1, 2016

MPAA Rating:  R

the purge election year leo barnes charlie roan frank grillo elizabeth mitchell

Let’s just keep running around the street and draw attention to ourselves!

It is the annual Purge, but the Purge has a new threat in Senator Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell) who is threatening to end the Purge once and for all if she can gain election.  Targeted by agents of the NFFA (New Founding Fathers of America), Senator Roan’s only hope when she hits the streets could be Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo) who has been assigned to protect her.  Teamed with a deli owner named Joe Dixon (Mykelti Williamson), his employee Marcos Dali (Joseph Julian Soria), and a Purge triage operator named Laney Rucker (Betty Gabriel), the senator must survive the night…but a group of rebels have a plan to make sure Senator Roan wins.

Written and directed by James DeMonaco, The Purge:  Election Year is the third film in the Purge series and follows The Purge:  Anarchy from 2014.  It received mixed reviews from critics, but a strong box-office return.

I thought the first Purge film was pretty weak.  It was a dull, lifeless horror film.  The second film improved upon the format by exploring the concept of the Purge (which the first film lacked) and started to create a mythos.  This film continues the story and themes and is about equal to second Purge.

the purge election year candy girl

I want my candy!!!

The story goes a bit into the New Founding Fathers of America ideas in addition and explores a bit of the politics behind the Purge.  I kind of wish that it went deeper and the rosy ending just seems a bit too perfect (despite potential danger).  It plays out rather as you’d expect it and as the second film plays out with a ragtag group of non-Purgers try to survive the night…but it is the politics which could have elevated it even higher.

Frank Grillo returns from the second film to continue to be the “bad-ass” of this film.  It is rather odd because in both films, Grillo doesn’t carry himself much like an action star…there are few witty comebacks and despite some fights, he isn’t over-the-top action which is slightly more realistic.  Elizabeth Mitchell is the idealist senator who believes the people will “do the right thing” by electing her.  I wish there had been more involving the NFFA characters that were introduced near the end of the movie…and I still could see a prequel film.

the purge election year nffa minister edwidge owens kyle

OMG…I love Purging!

The movie looks about the same as The Purge:  Anarchy.  Both movies had bigger playing fields in comparison to the original film and that helped.  There is still a weird lack of urgency with all three movies where characters don’t make much effort to hide.  It is only twelve hours (though I do like the added use of drones and security cams to track the characters).

The Purge:  Election Year benefited the most from being rather timely with a continuous election going on the United States.  The election radically divided the country and like the characters in the movie, the divide ended up continuing.  With the success of The Purge:  Election Year and the idea that there are more Purge stories to tell, I’m sure we’ll keep Purging for years.  The Purge:  Election Year was followed by prequel film The First Purge in 2018.

Related Links:

The Purge (2013)

The Purge:  Anarchy (2014)

The First Purge (2018)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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