The third installment of the Purge series brings back Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo) as presidential candidate Charlie Roan’s (Elizabeth Mitchell) head of security. Because Roan seeks to put an end to the national tradition, she is an obvious target of the elite NFFA group (New Founding Fathers of America) on the night of the purge. Hence, before resuming the campaign, Roan and Barnes must first run for their lives.
The Purge: Election Year seldom offers in-your-face horror moments since the film’s true villain is Corporate America. Call me desensitized but the scariest aspect of this movie was hands-down Nathan Whitehead’s score. In spite of it, the audience was laughing out loud during the majority of the movie’s shoot-out scenes. Not surprising. The antagonist and opposing candidate Minister Edwidge Owen (Kyle Secor) was creepy at most, even as he led an unelaborated exorcism-like murder.
Supporting characters such as former gang-member Joe Dixon (Mykelti Williamson) is meant to provide comic relief — not that we were in need of it. As a matter of fact, what were initially foreseeable quips from his part about fried chicken quickly deteriorated into an overkill of irrelevant homeboy jokes. In a movie with military detail sporting “swastikas” and “white power” written across their uniform, fishing for cheap laughs about race seems tacky.
Meanwhile, an interesting addition to the film is a tutu-clad juvenile delinquent (Brittany Mirabile) who is out to get revenge. The problem with this character, her Party in the U.S.A. crew and so many others is that they are deranged; they’re just not intimidating.
Admittedly, after viewing the film, one can be thankful that America has not yet established a 12-hour excuse for barbarism. The Purge: Election-Year won’t give you nightmares but it guarantees a chuckle.
-Inside the Purge
-Character Spotlight: Leo