July 17, 2016
"The Purge" (2013) (MY REVIEW) posited that in the year 2022, the US government under its "New Founding Fathers" enacted a law enabling people to legally commit any crime on the 21st day of March each year, from 7 pm to 7 am the following day. They do this to ensure a crime-free year the whole year round. The filmmakers decided to limit the scope of that first film within the confines of a single house. In the sequel called "The Purge:Anarchy" (2014) (MY REVIEW), we finally get to see the purging events that happened out in the streets, and it was not pretty.
In this third installment set in the year 2040, we meet US Senator Charlie Roan. Her family was killed in front of her during the very first Purge Night 18 years before. She is now running for US President, with the main campaign promise of putting a stop to the violence of the Purge. The New Founding Fathers of America, headed by Caleb Warren, is threatened by Roan's popularity. So for Purge Night that year, he purposely removed the immunity of government officials, making Roan fair game for elimination.
Frank Grillo, one of the more memorable actors from "Purge 2," is back. His Sgt. Barnes character is now the security officer of Senator Roan, so Grillo (who did not look like he aged 18 years) gets to show off more of his action skills. Elizabeth Mitchell channels Hillary Clinton as she plays Sen. Roan. I cannot help but think if this film had a real-life political agenda in coming out with this film this year, right in the thick of the US Election season. So the biggest question boiled down to -- Who will win the election at the end? Would it be the Pro-Purge NFFA party or would it be the Anti-Purge party of Sen. Roan?
Since we had already seen what happens in and out of the house during Purge Night, there was nothing really new that we can see here in the third episode. So they inject a controversial political issue in the mix, and then by the second half it will boil down again to practically a rehash of "The Purge 2". It is another guessing game which of the characters they introduce in the beginning of the film will end up surviving the Purge or not. Will it be the friendly Storekeeper Joe (Mykelti Williamson)? or Laney the badass EMT (Betty Gabriel)? or how about those two hateful foul-mouthed war-freak Candy Bar Girls?
In short, "Purge 3" is basically just a repeat of "Purge 2" no-holds-barred bloodbath with some creepy white supremacist antagonists. However, it is currently relevant in that it had that additional dimension that ties it to reality, especially with US elections in full steam now. Locally, it seems our society is having a Purge of our own, with the rash of deadly shootings involving drug addicts, though this real one does not end in only 12 hours. Anyhow, I liked those masks representing historical American icons which the evil purgers used -- definitely a creepy highlight. I still thought "Purge 2" is still better than this one though. 5/10.