This is the third film in the Purge series, and theoretically the last. I say "theoretically", because it rounds off the series by presenting the last ever Purge Day in America, but this film, like the two others before it, made so much money at the box office that it's impossible not to make another film.
18 years after the first Purge (which would make it 2040) Senator Charlie Roan is running for president. Her main policy is that the Purge should be abolished, because it's being used to strengthen America's economy by eliminating the poorest in society who are dependent on welfare. In the polls she's only 1% behind the ruling party, so there's a genuine fear by the establishment that she'll win. To counter this a special law is passed. In all previous years politicians and certain high-ranking officials were exempt from the Purge and weren't allowed to be killed; this year nobody is exempt. The government hires mercenaries to capture Senator Roan so that she can be executed in a special religious ceremony, the Purgemass.
A subplot is that a poor shop owner, Joe Dixon, has to sit up all night protecting his shop from looters. The two plots converge as the film progresses.
Like the previous two films there is over-the-top violence, but this film has more political content. It's a film for the Donald Trump generation. Many people who watch it will nod as things happen that indirectly refer to current real world events, but seeing the connections isn't necessary to enjoy it. "The Purge: Election Year" continues with the madness and mayhem that audiences worldwide expect from the films.
There are two new features in this film. The first is Purge Tourism, a phenomenon in which foreigners go on vacation to America to take part in the Purge by killing Americans. It's an interesting idea which could be further developed in a future film, if another one is made. A terrorist group could travel to America and create a major disaster in Purge Night, maybe destroying a whole city, then remain free from arrest under the Purge laws.
The other new feature is the existence of triage vans which travel though the cities helping victims of the Purge. This seems unrealistic to me, because the official emergency services don't operate, so why should the Purgers respect the triage vans? The film shows that some people leave the vans alone while others don't, but why should anyone think the vans are off limit?
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