REVIEW: THE PURGE ANARCHY
SYNOPSIS: The New Founders of America invite you to celebrate your annual right to Purge. The Purge: Anarchy, the sequel to summer 2013's sleeper hit that opened to No. 1 at the box-office, sees the return of writer/director/producer James DeMonaco to craft the next terrifying chapter of dutiful citizens preparing for their country's yearly 12 hours of anarchy.
REVIEW: Last year’s The Purge turned out to be a summer surprise hit, despite my giving a low rating review (as if my opinion matters :-)). Furthermore, it apparently went on to solidify Blumhouse Productions (makers of the Paranormal Activity series and Insidious), as the ones to watch for rolling out sleeper hits in the thriller genre. It had a terrific premise, but in my opinion, the movie itself broke down into a run-of-the-mill home invasion thriller similar to the 2008 horror film, The Strangers. Needless to say, it [The purge] was very much a huge disappointment because instead of exploring an environment where all crime is legal (And what an awesome concept to get creative with!), it subjected audiences to having to endure madness in one house throughout the majority of the movie. On the other hand, “The Purge: Anarchy” ditches that seemingly over-done horror concept in favor of following the real chaos in to the streets and lives of all, allowing the sequel to delve deeper in to the concept with both hands.
The idea behind “The Purge: Anarchy” seems to not be simply that American society has resolved its crime/inequality/population problems with an annual free-pass-for-murder "purge." But it is more like this hell night came home to roost on isolated, gated suburbanites, superficially liberal people existing merrily above this annual bloodletting, immune to its impact, but benefiting and even profiting from the mayhem (until it invades their community and their homes). It basically abandons that heavily repeated and disturbing message of home invasions for a more straightforward concept that has much more of a philosophical under tone. Where society will evolve, survive and benefit even if it’s at the anguish of others.
I guess since many (including myself) complained about The Purge being a meager home-invasion thriller gussied up with hints of dystopian sci-fi, writer James DeMonaco, et al, decided to listen and come up with this more exciting version for as the follow up. It doesn’t have any real heavy-hitters in the casting; However, it is worth mentioning little known actor Noel Gugliemi (Training Day, The Fast and the Furious and The Dark Knight Rises) for his small role that is quite intense and showcases his range of talent. In a nutshell, I’d frame him as a scene-stealer, for the character he portrayed. He has certainly grown exponentially over the years and Hollywood should take notice.
Anyways, here's a fun way to watch this flick. Pretend its "The Punisher" movie, and lead actor Frank Grillo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, 2014) is playing The Punisher. Do this and the film gets sorta’ awesome at times. Grillo is actually playing a man with no name and simply referred to in passing as "Sergeant." His character is pretty intense and has one goal that makes him pretty dangerous. Consequently, this second “Purge: Anarchy” effort is very much worth seeing in theaters. Three and a half stars out of five is probably not doing it justice (It lacked recognizable star power), but is well deserving here.
By Movi-Man Stan
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