Ironically the second film, The Purge: Anarchy faired slightly better, which is unusual for sequels in general, and now the third installment, The Purge: Election Year has also exceeded the original. Out now on Blu-ray and DVD, this third film is still basically the same idea but with a few current events twists added to the plot.
Two years after Anarchy left off, we find Leo (Frank Grillo; Kingdom) in a better place. He gave up his plot for revenge and went back to what he knows… police work. This time, he is the security detail for Senator and Presidential candidate Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell; Lost). As the annual purge night approaches, the Senator is a prime target, as she wants to abolish the purge for good and many of the NFA members oppose her.
When a member of her own security betrays her, Senator Roanshe and Leo have to escape her secure (or so she thought) home and fend for themselves on the streets. A number of anti-purgers who have secretly plotted to kill her opponent, the current president, aid them and hides them as best they can. These individuals have created safe houses for the injured and the hunted, while plotting the assassination. Roan must convince them not only to help her and Leo, but also to abandon their quest and let her win the election fair and square.
Grillo and Mitchell do a good job portraying their characters and Grillo's martial arts training is evident in his fight scenes, especially the one at the climax of the film. Joining them is a talented cast, including Mykelti Williamson (Forrest Gump) as shop owner Joe Dixon, who is out to defend his turf against looters but ends up helping the Senator and Dixon's employee, Marcos (Joseph Julian Soria; Max), a new immigrant to the United States and an opponent of the purge.
What makes this latest film slightly more interesting than the last two is the mimicry of the current social commentary in this country. While the first two touched upon the divide in economic classes (the second more than the first one), this one accentuates the differences between the have and have nots and the racial tension that is splashed across the front pages of the papers daily. This film also highlights the election that includes a strong, blonde, female candidate. Remind you of anyone we know?
The 1080p high definition video is terrific on this Blu-ray and every bit of blood splatter comes across in great detail. The hues are vibrant when called for and the black tones meld together nicely. The audio is well mixed and what you would expect from DTS-HD Master 5.1 audio with gunshots ringing out from every speaker of the surround sound.
There are only three extras on this disc, which is a little disappointing. The deleted scenes don't add much to the film and can most likely be skipped, but the other two are somewhat interesting and informative. There is a five minute look at the "making of" entitled Inside The Purge and a 3 minute feature that is called Character Spotlight: Leo. The latter was the most enjoyable with some great insight into Grillo and Leo Barnes. I wish there had been one or two more of these on the disc, but the one is certainly worth sitting through.
None of films in The Purge franchise are spectacular works of art, but, for what they are, they are enjoyable enough and this last one is more of the same. I get the sense that the trilogy is sure to be a cult classic, which makes one wonder if there will be a fourth one (I speculate there will, especially because of how this one ended). If you own the first two, I think it is worth your while to add this one to your collection, and, if you like the films but don't own them, you may want to consider investing in the trilogy.