HOLLYWOOD—“The Purge” was a surprise hit at the box-office in 2013 that scared audiences while also forcing them to think a bit. Not only did the small horror flick debut to large numbers, but it thrilled audiences with its simple premise: one day out of the year for 12 hours all crime is legal. Yep, sounds ludicrous, but frightening to say the least.
Forget the faces from the first chapter cause none of them return for this installment. Instead the cast is led by Frank Grillo who portrays Leo Barnes, a man hell bent on enacting revenge to the individual responsible for the death of his son. In the midst of his chaos, he stumbles across a mother and daughter (Carmen Ejogo) and (Zoe Soul) who find themselves in dire straits, but are soon rescued by Barnes.
There is not really a point in going through the narrative of this movie, as its similar to its predecessor, but on a much larger scale. A group of five does their best to survive one of the most dangerous nights of the year, with every type of criminal from all facets of life attempting to unleash a large amount of rage inside of them. The most intriguing aspect of this movie is the fright factor it brings by tackling such a convoluted idea.
If the government were to truly implement such a law, how many people would participate in such an activity? Probably a lot, those who say they wouldn’t have nothing to lose by engaging in such activity; there are no consequences to their actions. The polarizing aspect “The Purge: Anarchy” delivers to the audience is the social ramifications of the purge itself. It’s not just the super poor committing crimes, but it’s the elite of the elite partaking in so much debauchery. Criminals will be criminals, and those who have turned their cheek at committing crime, now revel in it as they see it as a sign of eliminating the problem in America.
That is what I find so alarming about this movie, the bad look good, and the good come across just as wicked as their counterparts. This isn’t a movie that is expected to provoke a dialogue about violence, but about politics and class systems.
Does the sequel have the same shock factor and surprises as the first movie? Not quite, but it’s still a tantalizing thriller that keeps the audience on the edge of its seat guessing and wondering precisely what will transpire of the heroes and villains in this movie. “The Purge: Anarchy” is a fun, but terrifying ride.
By LaDale Anderson