James DeMonaco’s The Purge: Anarchy expanded on the government-sanctioned, murderous free-for-all introduced in 2013’s The Purge, taking the action to the streets of Los Angeles and revealing all of the depravity lurking around every corner of the city (but just on that one night). DeMonaco’s also story introduced a rebel faction that sought to protect those most vulnerable to Purgers, namely, the poor. And in the trailer for The Purge: Election Year, that grassroots movement seems to have made it to Capitol Hill.
The sequel, which was also written and directed by DeMonaco, takes place two years after Anarchy: Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo), who was previously known simply as “Sergeant,” is now the head of security for Senator Charlene Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell), a presidential candidate whose platform includes doing away with the Purge. A survivor of a previous Purge, Senator Roan rightly notes that the poor are disproportionately affected by it, so she’d like to usher in a more peaceful and humane era and cancel everyone’s license to kill.
This doesn’t sit well with a bunch of old white guys (read: politicians), who then conspire to have the senator murdered. After an attack on the senator’s home, Leo must once again navigate the Purge-related mayhem with someone who, at first glance, doesn’t look like they’ll be of much help. Luckily, they eventually run into the next generation of freedom fighters, led by Mykelti Williamson’s character.
The Purge: Election Year hits theaters, fittingly enough, on July 4.