PROS: An improvement to its predecessor, more well-rounded story
CONS: Bad Acting, mindless characters
What’s there to say about a movie that’s centered around everybody killing each other for one whole night? One thing is for sure, 2013′s “The Purge” didn’t even have much to say about itself, giving us a mindless, one dimensional story. But writer/director James DeMonaco returns with “The Purge: Anarchy” in an attempt to clean up his own mess, and although it’s a clear improvement on its predecessor, is it still worth taking the time to see?
The short answer is: sure, why not? It’s pretty much this generations “Final Destination”, a straightforward premise that leaves its audience with expectations that are only as high as the inevitable body count. To the benefit of the rest of us though, DeMonaco actually digs a little deeper into the concept this time around, venturing outside the walls of a survivors home and into the city, offering some insight into the people who partake every year and the many possible dark secrets behind the yearly purge. It even introduces a counter perspective of a rebellion, which is an interesting mix in the story, told through the cliche static messages that intrude during news reports.
Aside from his many efforts though, DeMonaco makes no attempt at trying to raise the IQ of his characters, sort of following the exact same formula of the last film: one guy with common sense leading a group of people who are constantly making it harder for him to survive through the night. The characters are as dumb as you might expect, their natural clumsiness raising the level of suspense (or frustration) in some scenes where you’re unsure how somebody like them will survive. You root for a couple of people, but collectively it’s hard to care for any of them.
I’ll be honest, the idea of a yearly purge is not bad at all. I feel like “Anarchy” is a step in the right direction, offering a much more well rounded look at the situation at hand, but we have yet to see the full potential of the concept. Despite all of its flaws though I have a feeling that the studio will give director James DeMonaco plenty more chances to get it right. Don’t be surprised if we start to see a new “Purge” film every year. I wont be surprised either if “The Purge: Judgement Day” happens further down the line.
“The Purge: Anarchy” is exactly what you’d expect it to be, elaborating a bit more on its story but staying true to its ridiculous nature. It contains everything necessary to be a big hit, and even moreso contains all the right ingredients to be a successful sequel. Even though I was shaking my head most of the time, I was always entertained. And even though I probably wouldn’t watch it again, I know that it will do well at the box office, leading to an inevitable sequel that I’ll be in line next to you waiting to see as well.