The third installment of The Purge Franchise, Election Year follows in the footsteps of Anarchy. It adds some character development, expands on the Founding Fathers, and continues to explore the concept of The Purge. This movie is more action than horror, but manages to bring in some tension. The Purge: Election Year is Not Quite Golden, Ponyboy.
Election Year continues expanding the Purge universe
Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo) is head of security for Senator Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell). Senator Roan is pushing to end the Purge by becoming president in the upcoming election, but that has angered many people. Barnes is tasked with protecting the senator on Purge night so that she can survive to end it for good.
I really like Frank Grillo. I think he’s a solid action star and I want to see him in more rolls like this. I’ve been a fan of Elizabeth Mitchell’s since I binged watched Lost a few years ago. She gives a believable performance as her role as Senator Roan. I would like to see her do a more dramatic role as an elected official.
I think one of the biggest highlights of the film was Joe Dixon (Mykelti Williamson). He was very funny and added some unexpected humor to an otherwise dark film. The downside of Joe was his character’s catchphrases and somewhat stereotypical character traits. While he managed to lighten the mood, he was a basic character written in. With Joe came Marcos (Joseph Julian Soria) and Laney (Betty Gabriel) who were both pretty bad ass alongside Joe and Barnes.
Is this action or horror?
I have started to notice that the second and third purge films feel a lot like Halloween Horror Nights. Most of the Purge related events are happening around the main characters as they run through the maze of streets. Much like people do at the various haunted theme parks. The first Purge, while disappointing, at least made me believe the main characters were in danger. That feeling is slowly leaving making it feel more like an action film and less like a horror film. The choices writer/director James DeMonaco is making seems to be working financially, but not as much tonally. Then again, who said it needs to be horror.
Overall, I like the film quite a bit. I think a lot of the exposition is delivered a little sloppily, but the core of the film brings the intensity. The action sequence are quick, but impactful. Several of the Purgers feel a bit too much like caricatures than I feel is necessary. I buy into the idea that people who Purge are nuts, but that don’t have to be over-the-top.