It's been seventeen 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.
I'm not a fan of this franchise, but I have to admit that it has got more ambitious with each new film. The Purge wasted its complicated (and too improbable) premise on a typical home invasion tale. The second film, The Purge: Anarchy, focused on the urban chaos. And the third part, The Purge: Election Year, (excessively) exploits the political satire which had barely been suggested in its predecessors. This doesn't mean that The Purge: Election Year is a very good film, but at least, it offers a more interesting and fluid story, supported by a relevant message... even though it's said on such an obvious and strident way that it's difficult to take it seriously. The ridiculous exaggeration employed by director and screenwriter James DeMonaco in every aspect of the movie barely surpass the reality; 3 years ago, when the original film was released, the Purge looked like a distant fantasy, but we are currently so close to that social collapse that an even more extreme screenplay is needed in order to return to the fiction field. The bad thing is that DeMonaco's narrative manipulations keep being weak and illogical: the heroes make inexcusable mistakes, while the villains vary between invincible and incompetent, according to the requirements of each scene; and the political rhetoric of the screenplay seems written by a first semester university student who has just read his first communist pamphlet. But, well... at least, the actors make a good work in their roles, bringing an appropriate balance of humor and seriousness. Frank Grillo brings a credible performance, while Elizabeth Mitchell is perfect as Senator Roan. And as common people trapped into the violence of the Purge, we have Mykelti Williamson, Joseph Julian Soria, Betty Gabriel and Edwin Hodge... they all play cinematographic clichés, but they still managed to bring humanity to their characters. In conclusion, I wasn't left very satisfied by The Purge: Election Year, but it didn't bore me and I found it superior to the previous two films, so I can give it a slight recommendation, mainly to the followers of this saga and public servers searching for spiritual peace because they aren't as evil as the ones portrayed in this movie.
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