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The Purge: Election Year Review!

Jondee here at Washington D.C.,

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The Purge (2013) was an interesting concept, starting with the house defended by Ethan Hawke, it was a next door future (2023) where crime is legal for twelve hours. The premise is that one night of sin purges all of it for the rest of the year, but it ends up with the rich building strongholds to be safe during the night. This reminds me a bit of Devil’s Night in The Crow (1994). It was followed up a year later by The Purge: Anarchy which shifts to Frank Grillo as Sergeant Leo Barnes who finds a group of survivors and has to last the night while trying to sort out his own business on Purge Night. The horror aspect is the strange masks and twisted behavior of the Purgers. This leads us to The Purge: Election Year with the same writer and director, James DeMonaco, as the first two films. It opens with T.Rex blasting through the studio logos until we get that this is the Purge playlist for man about to purge a family. He has the mother, Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell, now in Dead of Summer!) choose who will survive. Then, eighteen years later, we get a news program showing the debate between Minister Edwidge Owens (Kyle Secor) who wants to keep the Purge to keep America strong and now Senator Charlie Roan who wants to end the Purge. Mitchell has Senator Roan not only driven by her Purge tragedy, but also talking and getting advice from the people, not for a photo op, but to understand.  One critic of the Purge is Dante Bishop (Edwin Hodge), the second film gives an indication of his role here. At the debate, is her head of security, Leo Barnes. He is driven to protect Roan because he thinks she can end the Purge.  Later, is a meeting of the New Founding Fathers, the group that we are told has set up the Purge. Their leader, Caleb Warren (Raymond J. Barry) is angry about Roan and wants to eliminate her so the rule is changed and no one is safe from the Purge, I figured out where that was going, but not how it would get to that point.

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Also in D.C. is the deli of Joe Dixon (Mykelti Williamson) who gets the news before the Purge that the Purge insurance is going to raised and he can’t afford it. His fellow deli worker, Marcos (Joseph Julian Soria) wants to help and he sees two schoolgirls stealing candy. One, Kimmy (Brittany Mirabile) threatens his store, but she’s backed down by Laney Rucker (Betty Gabriel) who is infamous for her work in the Purge. There isn’t too much background for her character, but she drives an ambulance helping out the wounded during the Purge. We also get a news report that international visitors, called “murder tourists”, have come to the Purge so they can experience some American recreation. Roan wants to stay at her home, not a stronghold, which would distance her from voters. Barnes worries about the preparations to make the house secure. It’s Purge Night, if you’ve seen the other films or not, the alarms are dreaded. Joe is out with a cooler of beers and guns to protect his deli from the rooftop. He is joined by Marcos, his loyalty as a survivor from Mexico City is due to the job Joe gave him coming to America two years ago. They see a car covered in Christmas lights and playing Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the U.S.A.”, they should be Purged for that alone. Kimmy is there with her friends, but Marcos clips her ear with a rifle shot and she drives away. The New Founding Fathers have sent in Neo-Nazi Earl Danzinger (Terry Serpico) complete with swastika tattoos and Confederate flag on his jacket. The security team is betrayed and Barnes has to sneak Roan away with his own exit. He is shot in the shoulder and has to keep the senator away from Purgers, a drone wrapped in flag colors, and Danzinger’s group. This year’s election cycle is as chaotic as anything in this film. The film is a fictional reflection of the 99% who are struggling. I will say the gunshots are hammering, but it is the same as the other films in that I couldn’t wait for the bad guys to get Purged. I’m not certain where a sequel would go, this seems to wrap everything up in a trilogy, but it could go international. The nonsense of current politics is Purged with this film. Four Flags out of Five!