Complete A-Z list

Purge, The: Election Year


Stars: Frank Grillo, Elizabeth Mitchell, Kyle Secor, Mykelti Williamson, Joseph Julian Soria, Raymond J Barry, Betty Gabriel, Terry Serpico, Edwin Hodge

Director: James DeMonaco

2016 seems to be turning into the year of sequels we didn't really need; and here's another.

Once a year, for 12 hours, murder and mayhem is legally allowed in the United States, which leads to everyone staying indoors and prowling gangs slaying everything in sight.

Now it's election year, and liberal senator Charlie Roan (TV actress Mitchell) has vowed to repeal the Purge should she win.

The entire US government, which has put up a psychotic priest (Secor) as its candidate, is so determined to stop her that it's revoked the order that protects prominent figures from the Purge, and dispatched a crack squad of assassins to eliminate her.

Betrayed from within, Roan and her trusted head of security Leo (Grillo) escape by a secret route and flee into the perilous night.

The whole idea of the establishment backing such a scheme has never seemed more ludicrous than here; caricatures replace characters, and there's some terrible over-acting, particularly from those on the government side.

But this is basically cowboys and Indians stuff, as the presidential hopeful is protected (for a while) by Leo and by two guys (Williamson, Soria) who run a deli, and by their hit-girl friend (Gabriel).

Lots of blazing action makes the whole lurid farrago of firepower a good bet for a late-night DVD rental. Veterans Williamson and Barry, the latter still projecting gimlet-eyed evil in old age, bolster the cast.

David Quinlan

USA 2016. UK Distributor: Universal. Colour (unspecified).
109 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 3.

Review date: 21 Aug 2016