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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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“The Purge: Election Year” Review

Photo by Creative Commons
The third movie in the series

The third movie of “The Purge” series premiered last week, pulling in 3.6 million dollars on Thursday night alone. Director James DeMonaco uses the third movie to expand on the political implications of the purge and its followers, and overall does a decent job of doing so.

Set in 2025, two years after the story shown in “The Purge: Anarchy,” the plotline of “The Purge: Election Year,” is political enough to be creepy but radical enough to stay in its own fictitious dystopia. The story follows a character who was introduced in the last movie of the series, Sergeant Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo), as he serves as a protector for Senator Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell), the political figure who wishes to end the Purge. Through a series of slightly predictable events, the two are forced to abandon their well-guarded Purge-proof shelter and spend the night fighting to stay alive on the blood coated streets of Washington D.C.

There are numerous reviews online comparing this movie to our political system and this year’s election. As interesting as those are to read, this will not be one of them. While obviously lined with political undertones (the purge slogan is “keep America great”), I do not think that the film parallels our election in any noteworthy ways aside from political jabs here and there.

However, the timing of the premiere was very well planned. With the opening coinciding near the election and the Fourth of July, the ironic appeal of the film pulled in an audience and the movie is anticipated to surpass the movie’s allotted budget like the past two films have.

“The Purge” movies have gotten broader and more intense with every film. The first film left viewers slightly disappointed with the slowness of the movie, wanting more insight on the background and reasoning behind the Purge. The second film catered to that curiosity and expanded its scope from one family to socioeconomic classes as a whole. The ideas that influence the Purge and the government that were expanded on in “The Purge: Anarchy” are developed even further in this movie with the inclusion of religious tension and “American values.”

The most impressive aspect of “The Purge: Election Year” is its ability to make the audience root for the removal of the violent holiday while also evoking satisfaction when violence is used to do so. While Senator Roan is opposed to fighting fire with fire, Barnes and the other protagonists use the kill or be killed mindset to justify their own purge to end the Purge and the audience is all for it.
An interesting horror-thriller, “The Purge: Election Year,” is an overall satisfactory movie that explores the possibilities of living in a world saturated in violence and conspiracy. Audience members will ponder the relatability of Purge politics to our own and fans of the series will enjoy the experience of the Purge and the possibility of another sequel.

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