Starring: Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Zach Gilford
Director: James DeMonaco
Running Time: 104 mins
The Purge: Anarchy is an American film and the sequel to The Purge. In the sixth annual Purge, a group of people aim to make it through the night alive after being caught outside, with potential killers all around.
As maligned as these movies are, I still find the premise behind ‘The Purge’ utterly fascinating. That was what really made the first film, for all its faults, a genuinely captivating watch, and it’s almost enough to keep you engaged in this rather less impressive sequel.
On the plus side, The Purge: Anarchy doesn’t only copy the form of the first film, with a little less focus on intense violence and claustrophobic tension, and it tries to be a little more reflective on the world that its story takes place in.
Throughout, the film’s main characters are part of a band of people who vehemently oppose the yearly tradition of ‘The Purge’, when all crime – including murder – is legal for 12 hours overnight.
In comparison to the first movie, which takes that world a little more for granted, Anarchy does at least try to bring some depth and introspection to the table, even if it doesn’t quite pull it off.
For the most part, the story here is pretty poor, lacking the tension and intensity of its predecessor, and with the exception of a few rather sobering scenes, it’s just an hour and a half of people running around trying not to get killed.
If you want a film that tells that story, and does it well, then watch Battle Royale. Saying that, however, those most sobering moments do in part have to thank this film’s more reflective tone, as you’re increasingly exposed to all the bad that The Purge does for society, despite what the government says.
It’s a fascinating concept and this movie just doesn’t follow it home enough to make for a really captivating watch. As I mentioned, The Purge: Anarchy is at times indeed a sobering horror, but it’s more often than not a rather bland and boring horror too. So, that’s why I’m giving it a 6.8 overall.