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Movie Reviews
by Todd Pearage

Purge: Election Year, The (10/3/2016)


Rated R for disturbing bloody violence and strong language.

Starring Elizabeth Mitchell. Frank Grillo, Edwin Hodge, Betty Gabriel, Kyle Secor, JJ Soria and Mykelti Williamson

Directed by James DeMonaco


Todd's Rating: A Coaster

Dynamic ImageLike most third installments in a horror franchise, this film was a complete letdown.

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.

When I saw the original Purge film, I thought it was one of the most disturbing and frightening looks into a possible future. I also thought it was as clever as it was scary. This latest installment is a clear attempt to squeeze one more movie out of a premise that has run dry.

In case you missed the first two…and if you did, I doubt this one will make your must-see list… “the purge is a social policy enacted by the New Founding Fathers that has resulted in great prosperity for America’s wealthiest citizens”. But that policy is 12-hour period in which criminal law is suspended. So people can do whatever they want, even (or especially) murder, without fear of consequences. People are actually encouraged to allow their "inner beast" out and cleanse their souls.

Election Year is a direct sequel to Anarchy. It takes place two years later and brings back Frank Grillo as Sergeant Leo Barnes…but even he looks bored. We also get Elizabeth Mitchell as the progressive Presidential candidate trying to end the purge. There are a handful of other characters and a storyline that really had no chance to gain any traction…but at least DeMonaco tried to tell their story. Unlike the characters on the movie poster who we meet very briefly at the airport and then see them again only to watch them get mowed down in a hail of gunfire. None of it made sense to me.

One final thought…Do you think it’s a coincidence the film is called Election Year as we find ourselves in a bizarre cage match between Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton? Me neither. Truth be told, the third Purge movie screams “allegory” but its “political commentary” offers little in the way of an original or noteworthy thought.

This movie is extremely violent and lacks any real substance…it’s a “Coaster.”


SHOULD KIDS SEE IT?
No. there is no sex or nudity but the violent and disturbing images are graphic and gory. The language is also strong with several F-words and other profanities.


CONVERSATION STARTER:
  1. Why was the purge created?

  2. Why is it a horrible idea?

  3. Read Proverbs 25:28

      Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.

  4. The film shows this verse is true. The New Founding Fathers of America thought it would help the country but what in fact happened?

  5. What are some areas in our life that we need to practice self-control?




Todd Pearage Todd Pearage is a movie buff at heart, but he's not your traditional film critic. Todd is a blue collar film geek, from his job years ago at Blockbuster to his heartfelt online movie reviews. But Todd isn't just a film geek. He has worked with middle and high school students since 1991 as a youth pastor and is currently on staff at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Todd and his wife Lynda have three children, Brianna, Caleb and Addyson.



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