Monday, July 28, 2014

The Purge: Anarchy

The entire premise surrounding The Purge really fascinates me! In fact, I've considered doing some research to see how such a radically new law/anti-law would impact the national and global economy. I know, I know... I'm the only one who would turn a slasher film into an economic issue! But, regardless, I'm drawn to the idea, and (this is NOT a statement of support for the creation of a real-life "purge") conceptually, it makes sense. That said, I actually enjoyed the first film quite a bit (review here), and I couldn't wait for the inevitable sequel, which came just as quick as can be expected from the folks at Blumhouse, who are also behind the ever-abundant Paranormal Activity franchise (of which I have never seen a single film). Heading in to The Purge: Anarchy, I didn't really know what would be the focal point of the film, but I did know we would get a look at a different dynamic of the purge, after the first film was presented from the perspective of a upper class, suburban family. All I knew was that I would continue to be fascinated by the concept and what it could become...

The first film was quite dumbed down and simple, and, considering both the small budget and the complexity of the film's concepts, it was done just right, in my opinion. If they had tried to dive too deeply into the politics of the event, the film would have been a rushed disaster. However, after seeing Anarchy, I'm a little worried that the unveiling of the purge's beginnings and motives may be coming along a bit too slowly, considering that there was very little mention of politics in a movie that was completely and totally focused on the rich dominating the poor. Even after bringing in three or four separate storylines, there was never any true mention of government conspiracy. I was kind of hoping that one of the characters would be the child of a "New Founding Father" or something, but oh well. Nevertheless, the story was still quite intriguing, particularly the 15-minute fight scene that was basically an R-rated (and better) version of The Hunger Games. Add to that the predictably fun end-sequence, and you have yourself an entertaining summer slasher!

With a broader range of characters, in comparison to the first film, Anarchy gave us a chance to look more at why different people purge and get purged. However, not all of these characters were necessary or useful, at all.

Zach Gilford's Shane and Kiele Sanchez's Liz were quite possibly the most useless part of any film of 2014. In fact, there characters could have been completely left out, and the film would have gone along just as well. For Sanchez, it was another Paulo/Nikki situation that will never make sense to anyone...

On the other hand, I really loved the dynamic mother-daughter storyline between Carmen Ejogo's Eva Sanchez and Zoe Soul's Cali. Additionally, the grandfather character, played by John Beasley helped to make this family storyline the best of the many that were placed throughout the film. They were really the only characters that I gave a crap about, so... success!

Although I did enjoy The Purge: Anarchy, I've come to the realization that the entire Purge franchise should actually be a TV show. Think about it... We could get many different perspectives, all at once. We could watch the politics unfold, throughout. We could still have a lot of killing (think The Walking Dead). I mean, it makes sense to me, but, regardless, that won't be happening, so we must fight on! And, even though the second film was not quite as spot-on as the first, I'll still be checking out The Purge: Double Anarchy in a couple of years! I give The Purge: Anarchy 2.56 out of 5 stars.


  1. Nice review, Tanner. And while I'm not entirely sure a full blown TV series would be necessary, I do think that this franchise would work best as an anthology series of sorts. That said, I'd like for this series to actually take a look at OTHER aspects of the Purge, more than just murder. Because as is, it's kinda got a one-track mind, when really, there's a WORLD of possibilities for this set-up to explore. Like you, I'm actually pretty fascinated by the concept, it just feels like the filmmakers aren't interested in actually doing anything with it, which leaves me ultimately disappointed at these first two films so far.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Chris! I'm glad to know you like the concept. I guess I'm kind of a sucker for television, but oh well! Hopefully, they will venture out with the inevitable third film...