The Purge-Anarchy Review


 By Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)

Is there such a thing as a perfect world? Probably not. Nevertheless, how about a world where the crime rate is almost non-existent, everyone has a job and people are, overall, happy with their lives? With our current state of the union, that, too, feels like a fairy tale. But in the year 2022, director James DeMonaco showed us that this world can be a reality with his film, The Purge. The Purge is a yearly event, thus Jame Demonaco has brought us the sequel, The Purge: Anarchy.

The United States is much more of an ideal place to live after the institution of the purge. The purge is one night out of the year, a 12 hour period, in which all crime is legal and all hospitals, fire stations, poison control centers and police stations in the United States are closed. People are able to take out all of their built up anger and frustration on this night on anyone and everyone they come across. For those who choose to purge, the day is spent preparing for the evening, making sure their weapons are functioning properly and developing strategies of who and where to hit others. For those not participating, these people lock down wherever they are staying, making sure to be indoors before the commencement of the purge.

Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo) has decided to participate this year, to avenge the death of his young son. After the commencement of the purge, he heads out, against the wishes of his wife, to find the man. He comes across two women, Eva (Carmen Ejogo) and Cali (Zoe Soul), being taken out by armed men. Against his better decision, he rescues the women, whose apartment building had been invaded. At the same time, they meet Shane (Zach Gilford) and Liz (Kiele Sanchez), a couple whose car ran out of gas on their way to Liz’ sisters house. Now Leo has a group of people, who are non-combatants, who he must get to safety before he can complete his mission of revenge. But will he be able to save the group from harm and make it through the night himself, or will they all become victims of the purge?

The idea for the original purge film was something new and fresh. It also carried with it a sense of foreboding and fear. The film was also on a smaller scale, with the vast majority of the film taking place within the confines of a home. The Purge: Anarchy, on the other hand, takes place within an entire city, so the whole dynamic of what made the first film so suspenseful and intense is now gone. That’s not to say that the danger levels have been reduced. On the contrary, now our protagonists are out in the city where there are far more danger around every corner. But what we lose is the intimacy of being within a closed space, and the intimacy of really getting to know the characters on a more personal level. But, with most sequels, the idea is to ratchet up the action and intensity, but by doing that, we generally lose that human connection and are left with a more generalized action oriented film. The Purge: Anarchy falls into this category.

Acting is a second thought in The Purge: Anarchy, with the actors there to help propel the skeleton of a story. Frank Grillo would be considered the “main character” of the story, but the lack of any real substance in terms of a script makes it difficult to really latch on to his character from an audience perspective. We can relate to the loss of a loved one, we can relate to wanting to have some form of vengeance, and we can relate to wanting to help others, but these are big, umbrella type scenarios and the little details just aren’t there. Frank goes what he can with the script, but the character isn’t memorable. As for the other characters, you’ll forget about them by the time you drive home from the theater.

The Purge: Anarchy takes what was presented in the original and tries to raise it to new levels, but the only real thing that is raised is the violence and action presented. A lack of any character development or any true attachment to the story leaves us with a hum-drum action film which we come to expect from films like Transformers. After the promise that was shown with The Purge, we had much higher hopes a sequel. Unfortunately, our hopes were let down, just like the hops of many innocents who die in the purge. The Purge: Anarchy is a film that it may be safer staying in your house then venturing out to see.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars


  1. mocanu andraJuly 21st, 2014 at 5:34 am

    There is no perfect world. When danger is around the corner, you don’t know what might happen… The night presented in the movie shows that when all human’s evil side comes out, hell breaks loose. It’s an interresting theme, and I think it will be a good movie. A bit of SF and adrenalin never hurts! I can’t wait to see it! :)*:)

  2. JustinJuly 21st, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Let us know what you thought after seeing it Mocanu

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