The Purge: Anarchy (2014)

The Purge: Anarchy (2014)
  • Time: 103 min
  • Genre: Action | Horror | Thriller
  • Director: James DeMonaco
  • Cast: Frank Grillo, Michael K. Williams, Zach Gilford


A couple are driving home when their car breaks down just as the Purge commences. Meanwhile, a police sergeant goes out into the streets to get revenge on the man who killed his son, and a mother and daughter run from their home after assailants destroy it. The five people meet up as they attempt to survive the night in Los Angeles.


  • “The Purge” is one of those films that cost little and raise much, despite being silly. So why not make a sequel? Here merit is that expanded an anecdote (the world without social security) to a much larger and epic scale. In truth, we are generous: they have expanded to a ridiculously huge scale. Not only is far less credible, but it is cowardly in any way, and is an atrocious movie as you can imagine

    Let’s start with what we all know: credibility. It is true that cinema is not only for Bergman drama but to do fantasy things, to imagine a man who discovers relics of gold, to imagine an alien coming to earth and changing the lives of an ordinary family while persecute the FBI, to imagine fighting with sabers lasers, etc.. When something exceeds the level of reality about adornment and beings that do not exist on our planet, christens it “Science Fiction.” In science fiction, one can imagine many scenarios that are always enjoyable if have some consistency, but usually science fiction allows very great possibilities because there is room for ignorance. “The Purge” is not science fiction because people and adornment are real, so the unlikely argument becomes untenable. In science fiction, one can imagine aliens invading earth because human beings in real life does not know the aliens (because never you seen one, for now), and therefore we have a collective imagination in where we think the martians can be much more powerful than us or have superior technology. Of course, we do not criticize people who still believe that cinema is to do anything, but if this is true strictly: What is the pleasure of watching movies? Did not the pleasure of cinema involves a little challenge? Why then criticize “Transformers” or “Scary Movie”? But hey: apparently the U.S. (which is a country that is characterized by heavy militarization, and their anti-communist or anti-anarchist culture, a country that has committed disasters like the Iraq war to the infamous trial of Sacco and Vanzetti) has declared a day of purging for the masses to come out with their ideology shifts and masks á la Joker in “Batman: The Dark Knight”. Also, who wrote “The Purge 2” does not have even a little common sense, because the american government should be totalitarian, not democratic (then people would have to accept obligatorily a self-punitive law. In democracy is a little bizarre)

    But there is good news: “The Purge: Anarchy” is not a disaster for its improbable plot, but for its extreme cowardice, and even because is insulting for the viewer. When you hear the reasons for the purge, you can only curse: apparently, these purges have been authorized by the U.S. government; For what? because according to the president, is an effective way to eradicate crime and poverty; How it work? These purges release all the hatred of a common person and therefore when finish the purge this person becomes contented and happy; Anything else? It is assumed that the middle or upper class will eliminate the poor. It is a fantasy that grates on racism, and even destroys all the basic sectors of modern psychology / sociology (according to this film, the human being is an individual with an animal nature limited by society, a being who wishes to respond to their wild instincts such crime but restricted by morality imposed by social factors; which is an obsolete psychological idea because it is society that “repressed” which also promotes criminal tendencies). And it is racist because it considers latency of middle or upper classes to kill the lower classes. In fact, the latter could be considered as a social critique; Do not exploit the upper classes to the lower classes? Is not it time for the lower classes take control? And for a while “The Purge 2” wants to continue this noble message, but is faced with its own plot: who promotes the purges is government by political interests; Why not try a criticism about the U.S. governments? But Hollywood is cowardly to criticize government and policies of U.S. and therefore opted for the “standard” that would be social criticism. And because the purges are promoted by the U.S. president, the whole message of lower class vs upper class feels a distraction from what really would have to criticize

    But even as social criticism is irrelevant, either because the film follows the vein of disaster movies adapted to terror genre: characters wandering around a long time, talking about their banalities, waiting for the moment of action. But it is also irrelevant the social message because anarchists are really awkward: they believe will revolutionize U.S. slaughtering everybody in a day that is appointed by the government. Oh, What a rebels they are! Is not much more “rebellious”, much more “revolutionary” slaughtering everybody but on a normal day, not on a day that the own government declared for people to kill each other?? These are the rebels who like to live within the system who criticize

    Is abysmal the mediocre dialogues and episodic situations (with Deus Ex Machinas to advance the story) that occur: a man who accidentally takes the protagonists in his car, one of the protagonists who has a friend with a car (This friend would have to escape the purge?), the protagonists who find an empty truck, millionaires that are killed (when they can pay for protection), a drunk who wants to murder the waitress but says stupid etc. If you criticized the quite entertaining “Maleficent” or the not so bad “Transcendence” How wrong You were! “The Purge: Anarchy” is the worst idiocy going to see for a long time

  • The year 2013 had a curiously captivating idea introduced into its horror genre. The launch of The Purge (2013) attracted many people to the theaters due to their eager nature to see the kind of macabre acts that could happen if such an event were real. The premise was unique and intriguing but the end result was not what people expected or received. Instead of seeing this concept being fully exploited, the production crew gave its viewers a very average film with stock characters with inhumane personalities, generic violence and standard execution. But like many other films that did well at the box office (even with bad reviews), managed to obtain a sequel. However unlike most sequels, this installment actually improves upon the original. It’s not vastly refreshing but it does have better qualities than its predecessor.

    If a viewer has seen the first film, a good guess can be inferred on what this one will be about. Instead of continuing the story on its beginning characters, writer/director James DeMonaco focuses on a new set of characters (quite honestly that’s fine, not many liked the original characters). All of which start as different character threads of which different people become apart of the annual purge, whether they expected to or not. What works with having separate story lines is that they come together as one, rather quickly. This keeps the story moving not only in maintaining audiences’ attentions but also by physical location. In place of having the setting focused on one household, DeMonaco now directs the viewers’ attention to the world outside where this annual “holiday” happens nationwide. Accompanying that is Jacques Jouffret’s cinematography, which enlarges his viewfinder to get better panning shots of the disarray happening around the main characters.

    The characters that we look at are of different areas and situations. Frank Grillo plays a man out for vengeance after his son was killed. Notably, Grillo kind of looks and acts (a little) like The Punisher. I could only imagine what a field day The Punisher would have on this day! But I digress. Carmen Ejogo and Zoë Soul play a mother and daughter duo who end up being saved by Grillo’s character. Zach Gilford and Kiele Sanchez play a couple who becomes stranded at the beginning of the purge. When all these characters finally meet up together, it is their determination that makes them likable. In fact, they even help each other develop which is important in this kind of movie, where morals are highly advised when it comes to the legalization of murder. Even Edwin Hodge (the victim from the last movie) has a brief cameo along with Michael Kenneth Williams who both play rebels against the purge. They are both very welcome to fight back.

    Unsuccessfully, the film still does not overcome much else. The writing incorporates multiple subplots. Some of which pertain to the main characters, where either it is concluded and has no effect on the plot or isn’t concluded and felt irrelevant to begin with. There’s also a subplot about government conspiracies where it is partially addressed and then left alone with giant plot holes that make no sense. When people complained about the violence being too generic from the first, apparently nobody heard them because nothing is exactly fixed there either. People are still beating the crap out of each other with the simplest and common of weapons. If this is the night of legal violence, then get creative! Use something different! The only true scary element to this movie is how sadistic various people are depicted and the beliefs they hold to this event.

    Giving your buddy a thumbs up or a fist bump because they get the chance to blow someone’s head off or dismember them is god awfully sick. It should make the viewer excessively happy when these perverse people are put in their place. It is so gratifying. It’s also strange because as the confrontations continue from beginning to end, they seem to become less and less personal, which is kind of what I thought the purge was all about. But to watch these weirdos say their wicked holy prayer before butchering somebody is just plain fiendish. However going back to the last flaw, Nathan Whiehead’s musical score again fails to compel. The composition is loaded with electronic pulses and ticking percussion to emphasize tension but in the end it’s not the best listening experience for music collectors. It is an improvement in different areas but still not spectacular entertainment.

    Writer/director James DeMonaco did make some noticeable revisions to this installment compared to the first entry. This time it has likable characters with the right development, better casting and moments that do make the purge look even more sick than before. Yet, it still suffers from the cliched surrounding violence, unimportant subplots and a tiresome musical score.

    Points Earned –> 6:10

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