The Purge: Anarchy (2014)

The Purge – Anarchy Poster.jpgAnarchy in the USA

Director: James DeMonaco
Running Time: 103 minutes
Starring: Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Zach Gilford, Kiele Sanchez, Zoë Soul, Michael K. Williams

Last year's The Purge was a film that came out of nowhere, and despite it's (many) problems, became a smash hit with audiences.

The story follows three different sets of people. Shane (Gilford) and Liz (Sanchez) are a young couple whose car inconveniently breaks down just before the annual Purge begins. Eva (Ejogo) and her daughter Cali (Soul) run from their home after it is destroyed by assailants, and Leo (Grillo), a Sergeant who roams the streets to find the man responsible for his sons death.

The best thing that can be said for this film is in how it fulfils some of the promise its predecessor held., thanks to writer/director James DeMonaco's attempts in fleshing out this world. We see how the rich partake in this annual event, along with the many other types of participants, from gangs to government sent goons. There is also a militant group who oppose this event, led by Michael K. Williams and his best Samuel L. Jackson impersonation. It is through all of this that it feels as if we know much more of this world that audiences were thrust into last year.

Mother and Daughter face obstacles on their
road to surviving the night

Unfortunately, things fall apart easily due to the lacklustre writing. DeMonaco's script is susceptible to clichés, plot holes and ridiculous lapses in logic. Any significant developments within the characters are by the numbers, attempts to distinguish them are non-existent, and as a result, the chance of getting the audience to care for them is very slim. Still, at least the actors do their best in their roles, particularly Frank Grillo, who makes a strong case for the role of The Punisher.

Despite the great performances and the better feel of this world, the poor writing hinders The Purge: Anarchy from fulfilling any promise this franchise could have.


Dan O. said…
Good review. It's better than the first, but a part of me still feels like there's plenty of room for improvement here.
James Rodrigues said…
I definitely agree, if they got someone with a better handle on satire together than they could produce something worth remembering.