It's been two years since Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo) stopped himself from a regrettable act of revenge on Purge Night. Now serving as head of security for Senator Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell), his mission is to protect her in a run for president and survive the annual ritual that targets the poor and innocent. But when a betrayal forces them onto the streets of D.C. on the one night when no help is available, they must stay alive until dawn...or both be sacrificed for their sins against the state.
So I'll start off by saying that I actually liked the original Purge, I know many people were expecting it to be a bit bigger and to expand more on the premise but I still enjoyed it and thought it was a pretty fun Horror/Thriller. Then the second Purge (which really wasn't a sequel, more of just a separate movie set in the same universe apart from one little tie in) came out and I enjoyed that one as well, however I thought it was a bit more cheesy than the original and it was really more of an Action/Thriller than a horror movie. I was pretty set with those two, I didn't think there was any need to continue on with the franchise, but we rarely ever get big release horror movies anymore so I decided to just suck it up and give The Purge: Election Year a chance.
So the premise was actually pretty interesting, a Senator whose family was slaughtered in front of her on Purge night is running for president in an effort to stop the Purge. However from there things start to get really really stupid. Since her opposition wants to keep her out of office they decide to disband the law that protects political officials on Purge night, thus making her fair game. When this news is shared with the Senator she decides that instead of locking herself up in a safe house (which would keep her and her dream to stop the purge alive) she'll just put the life of herself and the lives of her security team in jeopardy by just hanging out at her house on Purge night. This is one of many stupid decisions made by the Senator, and that is one of the main reasons why I found it very hard to root for her. Luckily she has a bad ass security guard (the main character from the second film) who is there to rescue her when things go south on Purge night, from there the film basically just becomes a rinse and repeat of the second film. There is also a sub plot about a extremely cookie cutter deli owner who will do anything in his power to protect his deli.
I think my main issue with the film is that the characters were just so cheesy and unrealistic. All the good guys who we are suppose to care for just ooze cheese and almost every line that comes out of their mouths is cringe worthy. The is one character in particular (the deli owner) who I found myself rooting against because he was just such a lame and unbelievable character, they actually tried to give this guy catch phrases. These felt like characters out of a bad action movie, and that's really what this film was at it's core, a lousy action movie in a horror setting. The villains weren't much better, at one point they try to pass off a group of obnoxious teenage girl as villains, the scenes with these girls were drawn out and extremely irritating, these characters belonged in a teen comedy not a R rated "Horror" film.
All in all I thought this was a lousy sequel and that the Purge Franchise would have been better after just being two films. They basically just repackaged The Purge: Anarchy with worse characters and a little bit more of an expansion on the story. The worst part is they will probably make more of these, they will run this franchise into the dirt just like the Paranormal Activity franchise. My expectations were not very high, yet I was still pretty disappointed.
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