The annual Purge has commenced. The Purge: Anarchy, the sequel to 2013’s The Purge. This go around James DeMonaco returns to direct a new cast including Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Zach Gilford, Kiel Sanchez, Zoe Soul, and Michael K. Williams in Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes’ film. While the first film was wildly perceived as a let down due to its nature of nothing more than a home invasion horror film, this film takes the concept of the Purge to the streets. Which is what the fan base vocally stated in their distaste for the misconception of what the first film as about. SO the question is, do the fans get what they wanted this go around? I’d say, yes, yes they do.
The Purge: Anarchy follows a group of 4 people who are not into the Purge movement but find themselves in the middle of downtown stranded out on the most dangerous and deadly night of the Year. Shane(Gilford) and Liz(Sanchez) a couple whose relationship is in a rocky spot get stranded as their car breaks down on their way to their sisters home. Mother and daughter Eva(Ejogo) and Cali(Soul) find themselves out on the streets after well armed tactical group of Purgers break in and attempt to take them. The 4 get together following a Purger(Grillo) who saves Eva and Cali. Now the 5 must survive the night together, all while their protector has an agenda of his own.
As the first film attempted to be a horror film, this film corrected that mistake and went all out action thriller. The Purge series lends itself to action much better than horror and Anarchy proves that. The focus is now on the thrills and action rather than attempting to scare the audience and it makes the film much more enjoyable. There are so many ways they can now take this franchise in the future. All thanks to genre switch. The film moves from the home invasion to the streets and the characters attempt to make their way through a town with basically a war going on all around them.
The cast is much stronger this go round too. Nothing against Lena Headey, she was awesome in Dredd, just whiny and weak in The Purge. And I’ve never liked Ethan Hawke, Training Day not with standing. But this cast, of, well to me, relative unknowns fits well. They are normal people who attempt to stand up and do what they must in the face adversary and danger. And Grillo, mark my words, is the next Liam Neeson. He is a bonafide action star. Definitely miscast in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Don’t get me wrong, Grillo makes for a great Crossbones, but ill be damned if he wouldn’t make for the perfect Punisher. There is one character that is horribly miss cast in Anarchy, Samuel L. Jackson should have been in this movie. When you watch it, you’ll know exactly who I am talking about.
The direction is solid, the story is decent, the cast is great. It is refreshing to see a sequel to a not so good movie that the directors and writers listen to the fan base and give us what we want. The Purge: Anarchy is a fun action thriller. When I scored it, I gave the film a Jeebus Score of 4.0, a Good Time at the Theater.