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The Purge: Anarchy

The Purge – Anarchy Poster.jpgThe Purge: Anarchy is somewhere in between the Hostel movies with its extreme violence, and John Carpenter’s Escape From New York.  It actually takes a lot from John Carpenter and not only Escape, but also films like Assault on Precinct 13, and and even a little Ghosts of Mars as well.  It’s the one thing the film truly has going for it.  A group of people who are complete opposites must rely on each other to survive.

The film picks up once again on purge night, when anyone can use their aggression and murder whomever they choose with no repercussions. The first Purge film was all about Ethan Hawke and his family trying to keep invaders out of their home, while this film is all about surviving on the streets.  A smart way to form the structure of this sequel.  Three different story’s merge as three groups of people come together to survive the evening.

There’s a young couple Shane (Friday Night Light’s Zach Gilford) and Liz, mother and daughter Eva and Cali, and Frank, a man who is on a mission to set a wrong done to him right. Shane and Liz get stranded on the streets before the purge begins when their car breaks down.  The cars brake-line was cut at a supermarket by a mysterious group of masked teenagers who will make it a mission to track them down. (I don’t know why you’d be grocery shopping an hour before all hell breaks loose, but that’s just me.)  They run into Eva and Cali who have been forced from their home by another group of what seems to be terrorists, led by someone named Big Daddy.  Frank is in the middle of saving Eva and Cali when all three groups meet.  They are stuck together and must find a way to survive behind the leadership and military know-how of Frank.  Even though Frank is on a mission, something inside of him cannot let the others fend for themselves on purge night.  Such a good guy that Frank.

The rest of the film follows the group as they try to avoid the group of masked teenagers along with Big Daddy and his swat team of combatants.  These two groups motives will slowly unfold over the course of the film, and I actually think those motives are a well written portion of the storyline.  Why do these people want to kill?  Is it only to “purge” themselves and become closer to god, or is their a larger rationale behind their ludicrous actions?

Don’t get me wrong.  The entire idea of The Purge is completely ridiculous, but that doesn’t stop it from being entertaining, and also a fun little puzzle to solve over the course of the film.  There’s lot of great suspense, and a fair share of jump out of your seat moments, that go along with a pretty solid script.  The darkened alleyways and fire lined streets lend themselves to become this entertaining John Carpenter-esque film.  If you buy into the idea of a class system turned on its head, along with population control created to serve the 1%, then the film becomes a little more enlightening (I use this word very loosely) to watch.  Either way it’s highly entertaining, and is a great addition to your Netflix Queue upon video release.

Grade: B