Movie Review: The Purge: Anarchy

 

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When The Purge came out in 2013, the story was fresh and very creative. The idea of the United States Government having one night of the year when all crime was legal seemed crazy but brilliant as a movie script. Just as intriguing as that idea was seeing how the people would react to such an event. And while The Purge was a decent movie, it fell short on displaying the overall effects of the purge night by only focusing on one family.

So when news broke about The Purge: Anarchy and it seemed like it would show a more wide-scale view of this annual occurrence, I felt like the sequel could eclipse the original. But I finally got around to watching it and still came away disappointed as I still felt it was just missing something.

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The Purge: Anarchy follows five people as they try to survive the night in Los Angeles. There is the soon-to-be divorced couple of Shane and Liz, the mother-daughter duo of Eva and Cali, and the revenge-fueled Leo.

After having their apartment besieged by heavily-armed men, Eva and Cali are captured and then saved by Leo after he sees them fighting for their lives. While he is out helping them, Shane and Liz sneak into his car after theirs had stopped working on them. Leo reluctantly takes them along as they fight off people taking part in The Purge. Eventually they realize that the Government is sending out killers to take out some people because the number of deaths is down.

They escape and end up in Eva’s friend’s apartment when someone kills Eva’s friend. They escape the apartment but get captured and are sent to a Purge auction and are put in a room where they are hunted. They fight back and eventually escape with help from Carmelo, a revolutionary against the Purge, and his gang.

With The Purge coming to an end, Leo sets out to seek revenge on the man that killed his son while driving drunk and was let go on a technicality. Eva and Cali try to stop him but he shakes them off and breaks into the house. Afterwards, he walks out of the house and is promptly shot by two Government killers. But before they could kill him, sirens sound ending The Purge. It is revealed that Leo didn’t kill the owner of the house and he takes Leo, Eva, and Cali to the hospital to get Leo help.

The Purge: Anarchy was a decent watch but nothing special. While it did show a wider view of the annual event, the acting was bland and kind of a letdown. I think that if the acting from the first film had followed over to the sequel, this could have been a very good film. But instead, the acting was very pedestrian and did not add a lot to the movie. I’m not trying to take shots at the actors. They did what they were asked to do. But no one really stood out to me and made the movie more intriguing. And the script may be to blame just as much but whatever the reason, it did hurt the film in the end.

It really is a shame that the movie wasn’t as good as I hoped. It just seemed like they went for a direct-to-video movie that also happened to get a wide theater release and plenty of advertising. The premise behind both of The Purge movies is very original, inventive, and entertaining. But the potential just has not been reached and it is a big misfortune.

Daryl Karpinski Jr.

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