We last saw Sgt. Leo Barnes two years ago in Los Angeles during the Purge of 2023; the annual holiday where all crime, including rape and murder (except of high ranking government officials) are legal. Though avenging the death of his toddler son drives Leo’s existence, he realized that the Purge wasn’t as it seems. Wonderfully hinted in the first film (2013) and all but screamed in the second (2014), the Purge is a thinly veiled exercise in population control where the upper class psychopaths prey on the defenceless, eliminating the “burdens” of society. Realizing that murder won’t bring him happiness, nor bring his son back Leo moves on.
Two years later, we reconnect with Leo in Washington, DC; where he is leading a security detail for a popular Presidential candidate. Senator Charlene ‘Charlie’ Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell) has been on the frontlines, rallying against the Purge for decades. Fifteen years ago, Senator Roan was the sole survivor of a Purge night attack on her family. Since that fateful day, she has dedicated her life to ending the annual lawless holiday. The New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA) stands to oppose the Senator and thus “Keep America Great”. Crime and unemployment are at an all time low while, consumer spending and overall happiness are at its highest, since the institution of the Purge. While the debate rages on about the ethics and morality of the Purge, its supporters conclude that America has never been better. In response to cries of the Purge being an instrument of classism, xenophobia and racism; the NFFA strikes down one of the few rules of the event. The use of class 4 and above weapons are prohibited, but for the first time, any government official, including those of class 10 or higher are not exempt from the Purge this year. For Leo Barnes, keeping the Senator alive through the night is his only priority; and that isn’t as easy as it seems. Continue reading “Movie Review – The Purge: Election Year”