The Purge: Anarchy
Director: James DeMonaco
Writer: James DeMonaco
Sequel to: The Purge
Cast: Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Zach Gilford, Kiele Sanchez, Zoë Soul, Justina Machado, Michael K. Williams, Edwin Hodge, John Beasley
It’s Purge Night: For one night every year, all crime is legal. In the poorest parts of Los Angeles this means that all hell breaks loose as the rich descend on the poor to prey on them. One man (Frank Grillo) wants to use the Purge Night for revenge, while others just get caught in the middle – like Cali (Zoë Soul) and Eva (Carmen Ejogo) who are attacked in their own home and have to flee or Shane (Zach Gilford) and Liz (Kiele Sanchez) whose car breaks down. By chance, the five of them find each other and try to survive the night together.
The Purge: Anarchy is a lot better than the first Purge film, but since that was abysmal that isn’t saying much. While at least we get to see a bit more of the interesting stuff in this film, it still suffers from a big lack of coherence.
At least in some departments The Purge: Anarchy does a lot better than The Purge. For one, we get characters that we can relate to a little bit better. It also helps when you don’t try to show the struggle of the poor and disadvantaged through the upper class but actually go where most of the shit goes down. So, moving the story from a gated community to the streets of Los Angeles was a very good idea.
Also, DeMonaco let every pretense of subtlety go. While that makes the movie pretty heavyhanded sometimes, it’s at least a more even experience which makes it nicer to watch than the back and forth of the first film.
While we do get better characters this time, too, they are not necessarily good characters yet. Rather they are pretty much stereotypes as well, but not quite as flat as in the first film. That it needed Seargent though, so you got a white guy saving the weak, was a little unnecessarry.
And generelly the film just lacked coherence. We jump from plot point to plot point and sometimes the connections between those points get quite muddled, I’m afraid. Concentrating on one thing would probably have worked better. But at least it has the heart in the right place, politically speaking, and there’s a lot of important social criticism there. It just could have come in a better package.