In the slim possibility that you are unfamiliar with the Purge franchise the series is about a somewhat dystopian near future where for twelve hours once a year virtually all crime is legal. Generally speaking the three films have been much more action then horror oriented. As such with the exception of some gore, creepy masks, and a few jump scares you are basically in for an Escape from LA style action flick. Like the Kurt Russell Escape films the Purge franchise has slight political themes but boasts nothing too thought provoking.
By bringing in political themes such as the purge literally being open class warfare, the writers have gotten a bit more mileage out of the concept. In addition to mini stories revolving around psychopaths feeding their bloodlust and individuals settling scores the films have revolved around the struggle of the have “nots” versus the” haves.” In the first film you had a group of yuppies hunting down a homeless man who has somehow offended them. In the sequel between the hero’s quest to avenge a loved one the protagonist discover that during the purge the government engages in depopulation tactics in order to keep the number of lower class individuals down.
The Purge Election Day follows up with this storyline with voters rallying around a Senator who promises to end the Purge now that it has been all but proven that the government is taking advantage of what was pitched as an occasion to air grievances and purge oneself of unlawful desires. With the governing establishment’s position and way of life threatened they have thrown out the few regulations placed on the Purge such as exempting civil servants and elected officials in order to get rid of the Senator before the Election Day. Continuing with the Escape comparison Election Day like the previous film features Frank Grillo as our main protagonist.
For anyone disappointed by Grillo’s lack of screen time in the most recent installment of Captain America his role in the Purge is a good consolation prize. Like Snake Plissken, Grillo’s role of Sergeant is an utterly badass and fairly charming character to follow through this dystopian setting. In addition to Grillo ,Myketelti Williamson provides an extremely entertaining wisecracking convenience store owner just trying to make sure his business survives the night.
As for the villains we have a generic cast of WASPs who make up the New Founding Fathers of America as well as a neo Nazi themed paramilitary organization under their employee led by a rather intimidating looking Terry Serpico. Simply put if you were at all pleased with the last two installments there’s no reason not to complete the trilogy. On the other hand if you’ve never seen the other two and you like gory dystopian action films give it a shoot you’ll likely be pleased. If you didn’t care for the last two films or are one to thumb your nose at Platinum Dunes and Blumhouse Productions though you’re basically in for more of the same. All in all though the films a fun little action flick with some ghoulish imagery and a surprising amount of humor. Plus if this year’s real election season has you stressed imagining your political opponent’s faces on those of the films antagonist makes for a very enjoyable watch.