Purge, The: Election Year

Featured In Issue 211, November 2016

WSR Score3.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
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Disturbing bloody violence and strong language.
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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James DeMonaco
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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The Purge: Election Year is the third chapter in the franchise. As the government prepares for its annual Purge, the one night a year when all crime is legal, America's New Founding Fathers are faced with strong opposition from a presidential hopeful and her supporters who wish to abolish the country's violent tradition. It has been two years since Leo Barnes (Grillo) stopped himself from a regrettable act of revenge on Purge Night— the 12 hours of lawlessness. This year, the annual ritual comes at the eve of a heated presidential election with the nation deeply divided between those who are pro- and anti-Purge. As head of security for Senator Charlie Roan (Mitchell), Leo's mission is to protect her during her controversial and contested run for president. But when a betrayal forces them onto the streets of Washington, D.C. on the night when no help is available, they must stay alive or both be sacrificed for their sins against the state. (Gary Reber)

Special features include seven deleted scenes (HD 08:05), the featurettes Inside The Purge (HD 05:31) and Character Spotlight—Leo (HD 03:34), upfront previews, and an UltraViolet digital copy.

The 2.40:1 1080p AVC picture was photographed digitally in Panavision® with the Arri Alexa XT Plus camera system. The production design and lighting highlights are effectively produced to depict constant danger and threat to life during the 12-hour Purge. The action is virtually non-stop and fluid, with a nightmarish quality. Saturation is excellent throughout but never overly heavy or drab. The color palette exhibits neutral, but rich and warm hues. Of course, the vast majority of scenes are at night, and the imagery is surrounded in shadows and lighting effects. The brighter scenes are in Joe's store and government building just hours before the Purge. The imagery during such is perfectly natural, with good contrast. Even the night scenes exhibit contrast that is well balanced with revealing shadow delineation. Black levels at times are less than ideal but still satisfying. Resolution is excellent throughout, especially during close-ups of facial features, hair, clothing, and uniforms and objects. This is an effectively rendered picture that conveys constant danger and suspense. Fans will not be disappointed. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is a virtual non-stop sonic assault. Dynamics are superb. Deep sub-25 Hz bass energy delivered by the .1 LFE is pushingly effective and provides a powerful presence that supports ambiance in the form of heavy vehicles, helicopter, and gunfire, as well as sound effects that punctuate the intense mayhem.. Surround directionalization and energy is virtually non-stop. The music score is dynamic sounding and likewise features aggressive surround envelopment,, extending to all corners of the soundfield. Dialogue,, which dominates throughout, manages to retain excellent clarity but at times is wanting in spatial delineation. Public announcements fill the soundfield with a sense of height. Overall, this is an exciting holosonic® soundtrack that effectively delivers a stirringly bold soundtrack experience. (Gary Reber)