The Purge: Anarchy (2014)

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Overall Rating 64%
Overall Rating
Ranked #1,163
...out of 22,328 movies
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Connections: The Purge

One night per year, the government sanctions a 12-hour period in which citizens can commit any crime they wish -- including murder -- without fear of punishment or imprisonment. Leo, a sergeant who lost his son, plans a vigilante mission of revenge during the mayhem. However, instead of a death-dealing avenger, he becomes the unexpected protector of four innocent strangers who desperately need his help if they are to survive the night. --TMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: May 5, 2016
A couple of weeks ago, I watched The Purge for the first time and walked away with mixed feelings. I thought that the concept was a good one and I was very interested to see what they did with it, but I wasn't a huge fan of the execution. The main thing that hurt the film, in my eyes, was the constant barrage of dumb mistakes made by the characters. Every movie has them, and they're usually required in order to move the plot along, but this one just had way too many and it required the viewer to completely turn his or her brain off in order to enjoy it. So, needless to say, I was very curious to see how this sequel played out. I really wanted to see this idea work out successfully, but I approached it very carefully due to that original film. In the end... well, let's get the plot out of the way first.

Taking place one year after the previous movie in the series, this sequel focuses on a handful of people who are brought together by the annual purging. What is a purging? Check out my review for the previous film for a full explanation. Anyway, we have the star of this show in a guy known only as Sergeant (Frank Grillo), a man who is very heavily armed and who is setting out to take part in the purging for reasons that will be made clear later on. We also have the mom and daughter team of Eva (Carmen Ejogo) and Cali (ZoŽ Soul), two lovely ladies who get caught in the middle of this year's purge due to unfortunate circumstances. Finally, we have the about-to-be-divorced couple of Shane (Zach Gilford) and Liz (Kiele Sanchez), who also find themselves in the middle of the purge thanks to their car breaking down in the middle of the city.

These five people are brought together after a strange series of events, and although Sergeant is eager to get on with his original plans, he also finds himself wanting to defend these four people who have quickly come to rely on him. Sure, he has the firepower and the training to take care of them, but he also has his own plans for the night... at what point does he cut them loose and tend to his own goals? Meanwhile, the gangs and the loners roam the city in search of new victims, which leads to some very tense encounters throughout the night.

If it wasn't obvious, the style and tone of this sequel is a lot different than what we had in the original. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, depending on what you're looking for. The original film was a claustrophobic thriller, while this one is more of an action flick - we're no longer confined to a single house, our heroes have an entire city to run around in. Plus, with the Sergeant character being such a badass with his arsenal of weaponry and protecting the innocent while slaughtering the guilty, it almost feels like a Punisher'ish film at times. Again, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. The core idea of the original film is retained, but it's handled in a much different way.

Now, with that said, I will say that the movie started to drag a bit in spots. I had no problem with the action flick vibe that it gave off, and I wasn't opposed to watching some mindless shoot-outs between good guys and bad guys, but it seemed to lose its way at times. We're introduced to the characters, they are brought together, and then there is a final goal... what do we do with the large chunk of time between those final two acts? Well, it's an action film, so we pit the main characters against some bad guys and watch the violence ensue. It's pretty damned fun for a while, but then it starts to rehash the same old thing one too many times. The heroes will encounter a gang or a large group of people, bullets will fly, bodies will hit the floor, the heroes prevail, and then... they encounter more of the same around the next corner.

While it's true that the storyline does get a bit repetitive, I will say that those action sequences were enjoyable. There's really not a single scene that I could point to and say that it wasn't handled right or was boring. Hell, there's even a bit of variety thrown in to keep things interesting. We get turrets mounted on the back of trailers, snipers, night vision shoot-outs, and a great scene in an apartment with a character who has been waiting for revenge. There's even an auction thrown in towards the end. Take any one of those scenes out of the movie and watch them on their own, and there's really nothing bad that you could say about them. However, they all boil down to the same basic thing: heroes have guns, bad guys have guns, bullets fly, bad guys die. It's a classic action movie formula, but in a movie like this, I wanted just a little more storyline.

In the end, I will say that I enjoyed this sequel just a hair more than the original film. It was far from a perfect action movie, but then again, that original movie was far from a perfect thriller / horror film. This is the one that I would choose if I had to recommend one over the other, but that's not to say that this is an amazing movie that you need in your collection either. Check it out if you enjoyed the previous film and the idea of a nationwide purge, but much like that other film, don't expect to be blown away. 7/10.
Ginose #1: Ginose - added June 18, 2016 at 1:03am
One of the best "Punisher" movies ever made. That said... eh. Kind of in the same boat with you on this one. I might have enjoyed it more, but the issues still existed. 7.2/10
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