[BD Review] ‘The Purge: Anarchy’ is Exactly What You Want It to Be!

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James DeMonaco’s The Purge: Anarchy is almost exactly the movie general audiences had in their head when they became intrigued by the premise of The Purge over a year ago. And intrigued they were. Fascinated, even. The word “purge” has now taken on an additional meaning in our vernacular despite the fact that the first film wasn’t especially memorable, trading in much of its promise in favor of a serviceable home invasion thriller.

But I’m glad that the initial Purge was a hit, because now we have a sequel that so fully embraces the lunacy of its central conceit its almost impossible not to find it just a little bit satisfying. Is it perfect? No. There’s some goofiness here and there (such as a character trying to engage someone she’s never met in a socioeconomic discussion during a gunfight), but Anarchy never rests on its laurels in its attempts to explore the urban jungle of a purge night via three intersecting stories. Bonus? The film is boldly political. Especially for a summer “blockbuster” (even if it only makes $50 million its return on investment will still trump every wide release this season). I’m not comparing this movie to Snowpiercer in the quality department, but if you showed the two films to an objective sociology class they could easily diagnose the United States as an entity grappling with staggering economic inequality issues.

Getting away from the admirable all caps surface text, The Purge: Anarchy knows exactly the right tone to strike. Severe, gory and (this is a compliment) full of silly swagger, the movie marches through the chaotic streets of downtown Los Angeles putting its protagonists (a revenge-bent Frank Grillo chief among them) through the ringer. While there’s a bit too much in the way of convenient circumstance to fully suspend your disbelief, that hardly impinges upon the entertainment factor. Even when the second half of the film’s third act devolves from striking to rote, it’s kind of hard to complain. After all, purging is sometimes a little sloppy.

In pretty much the best of ways, The Purge: Anarchy is exactly the movie you think you’re signing up for when you buy your ticket. If you walk out of it unsatisfied, you might want to reconsider what you were expecting from such a thing.

The Purge: Anarchy is out on Friday, July 18th.

Official Score

  • http://www.facebook.com/PlagaX Donte Dillon

    This makes me extremely happy. I see a bright future for this franchise. Has a lot of potential.

  • huntermc

    I thought the first movie was waaaay too predictable and found myself picking apart every plot point as I watched it. I’m glad to hear that the sequel lives up to its potential.

  • crizero

    One more day to go, I can’t wait to see it.

  • Jerome Stapleton

    i seen it on one of my movie sites its not that great have fun with it.. just dont go waste ur money on it

  • Khy

    Very good to hear! I can’t wait. I never held the potential idea against the original. It always made it clear that it would take place inside the house so I never understood why people left out like they were suckered or something.

  • J Jett

    i love the fact Grillo’s character is trying to help several protagonists escape unharmed. Grillo’s awesome. i freaking LOVE the shot in the trailer where you see the bus on fire in the background driving by. i’m definitely going to see this tomorrow.

  • http://doomas10 doomas10

    The purge has such an interesting concept that you can make a social drama out of it! The first one had a great premise but ended up in familiar ground. This one now seems to be more into the point. Bring it on

  • Saren Nevac

    Looks like its heading in the right direction as a franchise. Just hope the tell more original stories in the 3rd+ movies. Like a group that rob banks to live the good life till next Purge. Or something to do with governmental workers – rules said they cant be targeted, but what if a group were? Or a group of police going to war with criminals that they couldnt lock up. I think any thing other than another group of people fighting for their lives. Personally i would like to learn more about the world of The Purge at all levels from those in charge to the participants selfish actions etc.

  • ThunderDragoon

    That’s great news. I’ll definitely be catching this in theaters.

  • Blood-Dragon

    I’m sorry, but this is one of the worst films of the year and is actually worse than the first Purge.

    It’s hypocritical, contradicts the events of the first film, is a near-constant assault of gaping plot holes, incomplete ideas and appallingly expository dialogue. Worst o all, it’s not even entertainingly/mindlessly violent.

    Severe? Gory? Absolutely not. The violence is limited to a minor handful of shootings. with some periodic CG blood.THAT’S IT. And half the time, what passes for action is shot in the dark and jarringly edited. Moments that could have been brutal are literally reduced to cut-aways.

    “Boldy political”? Again, I’m sorry, but the ONLY way this could be mistaken as political is if one has no knowledge of anything regarding the subject matter. All of the themes and throat-shoving ideals come off as an MTV tween’s “understanding” of politics that they just found out about because someone shared it on Facebook next to a celebrity’s picture. Every facet of pathetically written dialogue is contradicted from scene to scene, plot point to plot point and contains no insight, wit or depth. Again, it all comes off like an entitled brat was given a soapbox.

    If this is what people want out of genre films then such a beloved canon is going to be reduced to shit in no time. I’m not against mindless films, but I am against the universal dumbing-down of audiences and the utter raping of storytelling and filmmaking as an art form.

  • Krug09

    The Purge was a big disappointment for me. I thought the idea was neat but i didn’t believe it. It was poorly done and explained. Also the family were pretty retarded for their wealth…. Great plan by the bf too… I am going to kill your father, who cares about you and gives you a great life… so we can be together? …ok? Hopefully part 2 is better then the first. At least not a disappointment.

  • J Jett

    just came from THE PURGE: ANARCHY and i freaking loved it!! i gave it a 10 out of 10 stars. it’s a near perfect movie IMO. i cared about every character (i was rooting for them all). the intensity it non-stop/perfect, etc. etc. Frank Grillo as usual was perfection.

  • Jason Artiga

    Great political horror film , With great acting , finally a horror film that has actors that look like everyday people instead of models

  • Travis

    I was going into this thinking that it would be much better than the first. But, it made me feel like the first movie was great. There were some creepy elements but they only kept them in the movie for 5 minutes. It just did nothing for me in any way.